A NUMBER of people were killed when an avalanche hit a hotel in central Italy apparently caused by a series of earthquakes.
Emergency services battled to reach the hotel near the Gran Sasso mountain in the Abruzzo region.
Head of one mountain rescue team, Antonio Crocetta, told a news source “there are many deaths.”
Up to to 30 people were believed to be in the Rigopiano hotel at the time of the avalanche.
Three quakes, the strongest with a magnitude of 5.7, hit central Italy on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of fatalities.