Italian rescue workers have found the dead body of a man in the wreckage of the hotel in central Italy that was buried in an avalanche last week, the Italian fire service says.

The death toll now stands at six, with 23 others still missing.

Nine people, including four children, were pulled alive from the piles of rubble and snow yesterday.

The luxury Hotel Rigopiano, located at the foot of a mountain chain in the central Italian region of Abruzzo, was hit last week by an avalanche caused by an earthquake.


Survivors said they ate snow, some dirty, to quench their thirst as they spent days in the dark, trapped in narrow corners of the hotel's rooms after walls and ceilings had collapsed.

Nine of the 11 survivors are still hospitalised in the nearby city of Pescara, with some of them expected to leave hospital as soon as tomorrow.

Some rescue workers said they did not rule out finding more survivors, almost four days after the disaster.

Emanuele Cherubini, a paramedic who had earlier rescued three children from the site, said the hotel "is full of places to shelter in ... so if someone had the good fortune to find one of those places with an air pocket...".

Major Marco Amoriello said rescue efforts were continuing, despite the difficult weather conditions and forecasts which were "not looking good".

"We certainly won't be stopping because of that," Amoriello said.

Around 120,000 tonnes of frozen snow, the equivalent of about 4,000 lorries, covered much of what was left of the hotel, a rescue official said.

- Reuters, AAP