Italy earthquake: Canadian among the dead, another injured
One Canadian was killed and another was injured in the powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked central Italy Wednesday, the Canadian government said Thursday.
Global Affairs Canada confirmed at least one citizen was among the over 280 people killed in the quake.
“I was extremely saddened to see the tragic loss of life following the devastating earthquake in central Italy, which now includes the death of a Canadian citizen,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said in a statement. “We share in the grief of the lives cut short by this terrible event.”
“I spoke with my Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni, yesterday to convey my deepest condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and hope for a rapid recovery to those many injured. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I also extend my condolences now to the family and friends of the Canadian life lost in the quake.”
Officials say 72 Canadians were registered as being in the area when the earthquake struck, though they did not say whether any Canadians are missing.
WATCH: Aerial drone footage captures scope of the devastation following earthquake in Italy
Italian authorities reported the death toll had risen to 281 Thursday with at least 365 others injured. Areas hardest hit by the quake were the tiny towns of Amatrice and Accumoli near Rieti, 100 kilometres northeast of Rome, and Pescara del Tronto, 25 kilometres further east.
Most of the dead – 190 – were in Amatrice and Accumuli and their nearby hamlets.
“Canada continues to stand behind the people of Italy during this difficult period.”
The foreign affairs minister told reporters he would not disclose the identity of the Canadian victim out of a request of the victim’s family.
Aftershocks rocked the region Thursday causing more damage to buildings in the already devastated town of Amatrice.
Late Wednesday, Italian rescue workers managed to pull a 10-year-girl alive from the twisted debris of a collapsed building, nearly 17 hours after the quake struck.
WATCH: 10-year-old girl pulled from rubble in central Italy
Video footage of the rescue shows firefighters carefully removing chunks of debris of a collapsed building in Pescara del Tronto when a man is seen lifting the child covered in dirt and dust from a small hole in the rubble as rescue workers cheered.
Firefighters and rescue crews using sniffer dogs continued to work in teams around the hard-hit areas in central Italy, pulling chunks of cement, rock and metal from mounds of rubble where homes once stood. Rescuers refused to say when their work would shift from saving lives to recovering bodies, noting that one person was pulled alive from the rubble 72 hours after the 2009 quake in the Italian town of L’Aquila.
“We will work relentlessly until the last person is found, and make sure no one is trapped,” said Lorenzo Botti, a rescue team spokesman.
-with files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.