Italy's most loved luxury hotel is hit by tragedy. A series of earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 sent tremors over Italy on January 4, which propelled the avalanche that buried the hotel on January 18.
Rigopiano Hotel is located in the remote Gran Sasso mountain range, bordered by forested slopes. It is an upscale resort hotel that occupies an impressive, chalet-style building with scenic views. Rigopiano Hotel is 8 km from Monte Carnicia mountain and 26 km from Santa Maria Casanova. It has chic rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screens and minibars. Rigopiano hotel in addition to a free breakfast buffet, has a splendid restaurant, a rustic-chic bar and a lounge.
On January 8 sometime between 16:30 (15:30 GMT) and 17:40 was struck by a massive avalanche. The hit partly brought down the roof and, according to some reports, shifted the building 10m (11 yards) away from its foundations. A guest who was outside the Rigopiano Hotel when the tragedy happened raised the alarm with his phone. Twenty-two guests and seven staff members were listed as being at the Rigopiano Hotel, among them children, but rescuers say the actual number could be 35. It appears the guests had assembled on the ground floor of the Rigopiano hotel, to await evacuation following the earthquakes.
Giampiero Parete, whose wife and two children are still missing, said he had gone to get something from his car when the incident happened. A couple was quoted as telling rescuers in a message asking for help because they are dying of cold. Mr. Parete with other fellow survivors were taken to the hospital, he continuously made phone calls however it was at around 8 PM when his pleas were acted upon by authorities.
BBC reported that rescuers are still hopeful that they will find survivors after an avalanche at Rigopiano Hotel in Italy left at least two people dead and dozens more buried under ruins and snow. The rescue teams needed to shovel and ski their way towards the site of the avalanche reaching the Rigopiano Hotel only at 4:30 AM the next day by helicopters and ski reported, The Guardian. Piles of snow block the approach road, which makes the rescue and retrieval more difficult. The teams worked through the night in the search for at least 25 people believed to be missing. Two bodies were already recovered from the rubble of the remote Rigopiano hotel, in the central Abruzzo region.