FARINDOLA, Italy – Rescue crews are considering whether to start using heavy equipment to speed up the search for 23 people still buried under the ruins of a central Italy hotel crushed by an avalanche.
Firefighter spokesman Luca Cari said emergency crews were working with an "operational hypothesis" that the tons of snow that plowed into the Hotel Rigopiano on Jan. 18 might not have reached all parts of the structure, and that there might still be survivors underneath.
But five days after the devastating snow slide, Cari said Monday that "we are fighting against time."
He said: "We know we need to work fast, but in relation to an environment that doesn't allow for fast intervention."
Meanwhile, questions are intensifying into whether the local government underestimated the threat facing the isolated hotel.