Reports: Italy avalanche survivor total now 8

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APTOPIX Italy Avalanche_510482

A rescue helicopter approaches the area in Rigopiano, central Italy, where a hotel has been buried under an avalanche on Wednesday, to recover some people who have been reportedly extracted alive from the debris, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo Gregorio Borgia)

FARINDOLA, Italy (AP) — Italian news reports say the number of people found alive under the rubble of the avalanche-crushed hotel in central Italy has risen to eight, including two children.

State-run RAI, Sky TG24 and the ANSA news agency, citing carabineri, raised the initial number of survivors. Earlier, AP staffers reaching the scene on foot overheard firefighter radio reports saying five people had been located and requesting helicopters to bring them to hospitals.

An estimated 30 people were buried under the Hotel Rigopiano in Italy’s snow-bound Abruzzo region after a huge avalanche covered the resort on Wednesday. Two people initially escaped the devastation and called for help.

Four of the guests were children, the town mayor said.

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