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Italy avalanche: Three puppies rescued from Rigiopiano hotel rubble

The rescue of three puppies, found alive beneath the rubble, has brought renewed hope that people could yet be found alive

23 January 2017, 5:53pm
The three sheepdog puppies (Photo: AP)
The three sheepdog puppies (Photo: AP)
Three puppies have been pulled out from underneath the rubble left by an avalanche that struck an Italian hotel five days-ago.

Italian rescuers are currently caught in a race against time as continue searching for 23 people who remain missing, and the discovery of the three puppies has brought on renewed hope that more people could yet be found alive.

“It’s an important sign of life, which gives us hope,” said Fabio Jerman, a firefighter.

Rescuers are currently digging a new route through the rubble as their search for survivors intensifies. “It’s a race against time, we know we need to go fast, but it’s not an easy working environment,” said Luca Cari, a fire service spokesman.

So far, six people have been confirmed dead, with a further nine persons being pulled out alive last week.

The risk of another avalanche has been lowered from four to three on a five-point scale, despite snow and rain continuing to fall on the area. A special radar has been installed on the slopes to warn rescue teams of any fresh slides.