Six new bodies have been retrieved from an Italian hotel devastated by an avalanche nearly a week ago, media said today citing local establishments, with 17 people still missing. Twelve people are now confirmed to have died after disaster struck the Hotel Rigopiano in the mountains of central Italy. Saviors have refused to give up hope of finding survivors, after three live puppies were retrieved from under the rubble yesterday. Italian authorities are meanwhile investigating the chain of events important to the avalanche to see if the calamity could have been avoided.
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An investigation for murder has been opened to probe whether risks had been taken into account during the construction of the hotel and on the day of the tragedy itself. On Friday, rescuers pulled several stayers out of the wreckage who described spending a horrific 48 hours trapped in the darkness and freezing cold of the hotel, eating snow to slake their thirst.
New routes have been dug into the rubble, but the search operation is proceeding slowly, with rescuers often digging with their bare hands over fears of causing a further collapse in the debris. The avalanche hit the hotel with the force of 4,000 trucks travelling at full speed.