Europe

Post-quake investigation in Italy starts with contracts

  • An excavator piles rubble as the bell tower of Amatrice stands in the background, in Amatrice, central Italy, at the same time, 3.36am, a week after a deadly quake, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy last Wednesday, causing several hundred deaths and flattened three towns in central Italy. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

    An excavator piles rubble as the bell tower of Amatrice stands in the background, in Amatrice, central Italy, at the same time, 3.36am, a week after a deadly quake, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy last Wednesday, causing several hundred deaths and flattened three towns in central Italy. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pallbearers carry away a coffin after a state funeral for some of the victims of last Wednesday's earthquake, in Amatrice, central Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. The evening Mass for 37 of the 292 people killed is the second state funeral for victims of the Aug. 24 temblor that flattened three towns in central Italy. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

    Pallbearers carry away a coffin after a state funeral for some of the victims of last Wednesday's earthquake, in Amatrice, central Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. The evening Mass for 37 of the 292 people killed is the second state funeral for victims of the Aug. 24 temblor that flattened three towns in central Italy. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Firefighters have conducted a preliminary search of Amatrice's crumbled elementary school and financial police have begun gathering documentation about contracts for renovations of quake-destroyed public buildings as the investigation into the devastation kicked into higher gear a week after the temblor struck central Italy.

Another body was extracted from the rubble early Wednesday and a 23-year-old student who was injured in the hard-hit medieval town of Amatrice died at a hospital in Pescara, bringing the death toll from the Aug. 24 temblor to 294, with a handful of people still missing, the ANSA news agency reported.

A 3.8-magnitude aftershock hit the quake zone on Wednesday, reportedly damaging a building in Norcia. It was one of more than 3,000 post-quake aftershocks that have rattled residents, some 4,000 of whom remain homeless.