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Police conclude Rigopiano avalanche investigation

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Police conclude Rigopiano avalanche investigation
Italian rescuers search for people trapped under the ruins of the Hotel Rigopiano in a photo handout released on January 23, 2017 by the Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico
18:10 CET+01:00
25 parties have been formally notified of the Pescara forest police force's conclusion of its 22-month-long investigation into the 2017 Hotel Rigopiano avalanche disaster, Italian media reported on Monday.

Such notices are typically made when prosecutors are preparing requests for their recipients to be brought to trial.

Among those who received the notice, which was issued to 24 individuals as well as the Gran Sasso Resort, were Province of Pescara President Antonio Di Marco, former Pescara prefect Francesco Provolo, former Gran Sasso Resort director Paolo Del Rosso, Hotel Rigopiano manager Bruno Di Tommaso, and Farindola town mayor Ilario Lacchetta.

The snowslide, which engulfed the Hotel Rigopiano in Abruzzo on January 18, 2017, killed 29 people, and was Italy's deadliest avalanche in almost a century.

The charges brought against those notified are likely to include manslaughter and causing injury though negligence by failing to take adequate precautions to protect the hotel's residents.

One of the report's most damning conclusions is that the hotel should never have been issued with building permits allowing its construction in the first place; and that it should at the least have been closed during the winter, when the avalanche risk was at its highest.

Mistakes made at the time of the disaster are also believed to have contributed to the scale of the tragedy.

Shortly after the incident it was reported that a phonecall from the hotel requesting help was initially dismissed by authorities as a hoax, delaying rescue efforts.

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