Update: Romanian woman, her two children, reportedly missing in the avalanche in Italy

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Romanian woman and her two children are gone missing after the avalanche that destroyed a hotel in Abruzzo ski resort in Italy. Her husband, an Italian citizen told local media that the rescue teams got to him and took him out of the snow, but he has no news about his wife and two children.

The man said that he had got out of the hotel shortly before the avalanche stroke, to fetch something from his car, which was parked quite far away from the hotel, a fact which saved him. While he was out the avalanche occurred and buried the 4-star spa hotel in snow. The rescue teams found the man in the snow, but alive.

His wife and two children had stayed in the hotel room. The man says he has been trying to contact them but there was no answer.

The media also reported that the Italian had made a desperate call to his boss for help.

According to The Telegraph, his boss, a restaurant owner, Quintino Marcella, said he received a phone call at 5:30pm on Wednesday from one of his chefs who was on vacation at the hotel.

He calls me and says ‘Help me, an avalanche has hit and the hotel isn’t there anymore. It’s disappeared. It’s buried. Two of us are here but call rescue crews.‘”

Marcella claims he immediately called police and prefecture’s emergency coordination center, but the prefect’s office assured him that the hotel had phoned two or three hours earlier reporting everything was OK.

Marcella said he frantically tried to call other emergency numbers but no one took him seriously. Speaking on Sky TG24, he said only hours later, after 8 pm, did the response begin. He said his chef kept saying “Help, help, help, help.”

Yet, there is no official confirmation about the Romanian woman and her children’s dissapearance. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it is in permanent contact with the Italian authorities. In these circumstances, the family should notify authorities, but in this case, as the Romania woman’s husband is Italian he has notified the Italian authorities.

About 30 people are missing after the avalanche in Abruzzo – with many people feared dead under metres of snow. Some papers report that there were 22 tourists and 7 employees of the hotel inside.

Emergency services battled through the night on Wednesday in a bid to save holidaymakers and staff thought to be inside the stricken Hotel Rigopiano in the town of Farindola.

However, a snowstorm and blocked routes made access to the hotel difficult until they finally made a break-through this morning.

The relatives of those trapped inside the hotel recounted that they had received text messages on the phone from the beloved ones on Wednesday night asking for help.

The hotel is about 45 kilometres (30 miles) from the coastal city of Pescara. Earthquakes hit the region on Wednesday, including one with a 5.7 magnitude.

The locals say that it has abundantly snowed in the past days and that the previous quakes might have dislocated the huge amount of snow.

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