Avalanche rescue continues as crews mourn colleagues
PENNE, Italy - Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni acknowledges delays and "malfunctioning" in the country's esponse to the avalanche that buried a mountain hotel. The death toll has climbed to 24 and rescue workers have all but ruled out finding any of the five people still missing alive.
In a briefing to parliament, Gentiloni stressed the unprecedented perfect storm that unfolded last week as more than six feet of snow fell within 72 hours on the isolated Hotel Rigopiano, followed by four powerful earthquakes that shook all of central Italy.
The ensuing landslide and avalanche dumped upwards of 60,000 tons of snow, rocks and uprooted trees on top of the resort, burying the 40 people inside. Nine were pulled out alive.