Italy Quake Death Toll Hits 267, State Funeral Planned

PESCARA DEL TRONTO, Italy (Reuters) – Hopes of finding more survivors faded on Friday three days after a powerful earthquake hit central Italy, with the death toll rising to 267 and the rescue operation in some of the stricken areas called off. Sniffer dogs and emergency crews continued to scour piles of rubble in Amatrice, a picturesque town popular with tourists which was levelled by Wednesday’s quake and where 207 bodies have been retrieved so far. But in nearby villages, such as Pescara del Tronto, rescuers pulled out after all the missing had been accounted for. Italy plans to hold a state funeral for around 40 of the victims on Saturday, which will be held in the nearby city of Ascoli Piceno. A day of national mourning was announced, with flags due to fly at half mast around the country for the dead, who include a number of foreigners. The civil protection department in Rome said nearly 400 people were being treated for injuries in hospitals, 40 of them in critical condition. An estimated 2,500 people were left homeless by the most deadly quake in Italy since 2009. Survivors with nowhere else to go are sleeping in neat rows of