>> Using pickaxes, shovels, and diggers, rescuers pulled the last bodies from the wreckage of this Italian hotel on Wednesday night. A week after an avalanche razed the building in central Italy, everyone who was known to be inside is accounted for, raising the final death toll to 29. 11 people survived, adults and children dug out from under the ice and snow days after the disaster.
The last human survivors found on Saturday, Italian firemen did pull three Abruzzo Sheepdog puppies from the rubble earlier this week, raising hope more people would be found alive. Instead, the last two bodies discovered on Wednesday night. The avalanche struck in the wake of heavy snowstorms and several powerful earthquakes on January 18th.
Many guests had wanted to leave the hotel but couldn't because the access road was blocked by snow. Local media reporting early emergency calls weren't taken seriously, and rescuers were dispatched hours too late and then had to battle poor road conditions. The first rescue team arrived by ski, 11 hours after the avalanche hit.
Prosecutors investigating if there were failings in the emergency response and if anyone should be held responsible for the tragedy, as Italy's government promises to find the truth.