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Hotel Rigopiano rescuer dies of heart-attack

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Hotel Rigopiano rescuer dies of heart-attack

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

One of the rescuers who helped pull out survivors and victims at the avalanche-hit central Italian Hotel Rigopiano last month was laid to rest on Wednesday after he died of a heart-attack.


The 39-year-old Andrea Pietrolungo had a heart-attack at his home in Pianella the Abruzzo region's province of Pescara on Tuesday but paramedics were unable to save him.

Italy's National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps on Facebook expressed "profound condolences and sadness" at Pietrolungo's death.

Pietrolungo had helped coordinate rescue efforts to rescue the 11 survivors and recover the bodies of the 29 victims of the Hotel Rigopiano disaster. The hotel was engulfed in snow during an avalanche in Abruzzo's Gran Sasso mountain range on 18 January after heavy snowstorms and several powerful earthquakes earlier that that day.

He also attended the funerals of six people who died when a rescue helicopter crashed in bad weather on 24 January near the Abruzzo ski resort of Campo Felice.

Pietrolungo was also involved in rescuing people trapped elsewhere in Abruzzo and other mountainous regions of central Italy, which were hit by the worst snowfalls in decades in January.

He directed and taught at the Abruzzo regional speology school and volunteered for Italy's National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps.



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