Italy earthquake: Mass funeral for 35 victims
A mass funeral has taken place in Italy for some of the 290 people killed in Wednesday’s powerful earthquake.
Thirty-five victims from the town of Arquata were mourned at a sports hall in the regional capital, Ascoli Piceno. The coffins, laid out in rows on the floor, included two painted white for two children killed.
The death toll from the quake, which struck a mountainous central region, has again risen as more bodies were found. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was among those attending the funeral along with President Sergio Mattarella, who earlier visited Amatrice, the town with the most casualties.
Bishop Giovanni d’Ercole urged those affected not to lose courage. “Together, above all we will restore life to our communities, starting from our traditions and from the rubble of death,” he said.
One of the children’s coffins contained the body of Giulia Rinaldo, whose younger sister survived the earthquake because she was under Giulia’s body. One of the firefighters, Andrea, had left a moving note on Giulia’s coffin, apologising for arriving too late, and signing it with a heart symbol.
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