Rescuers say up to 30 people are missing after a hotel in central Italy was hit by an avalanche, apparently triggered by an earthquake.
The Rescuers battled overnight to reach the Rigopiano hotel, with the first of them arriving on skis. Snow dislodged by the avalanche had blocked the roads.
One person has been pulled dead from the snow. Two have been found alive but most others appear to be still buried.
One official said there were “many dead” in the hotel.
The mountainous region of central Italy was hit by a succession of four earthquakes on Wednesday and further tremors were reported overnight.
The roof on the four-star spa hotel, close to the Gran Sasso mountain in the Abruzzo region, partly collapsed on Wednesday night. Rescuers said at least 20 tourists and seven staff were inside at the time.
Crews had been calling out to survivors but there was no response.
Local residents in Farindola alerted emergency services.
The first victim, a man, was pulled out at about 09:30 (08:30 GMT) on Thursday, Corriere Della Sera newspaper reported.
“There are many deaths,” Antonio Crocetta, the head of a mountain rescue team, was quoted as saying.
There were children among the guests, and media reports say children are among those killed.