ROME, ITALY (CNA) - A group of Holy See firefighters sent by Pope Francis to an earthquake-devastated town in Italy rescued a three-year-old boy from the rubble of his home.
According to Vatican Radio, the firefighters were able to rescue the little boy, but were unable to save the lives of his parents or 10-year-old sister. The family had been buried in the rubble of their home in the town of Amatrice when it collapsed in the August 24 earthquake.
The group of firefighters was sent by the Holy Father after a 6.2-Richter scale earthquake tore through Northern Italy. They brought rosaries and images blessed by the pontiff, and worked to rescue victims.
In addition to firefighters, the Pope sent a group of Vatican police to the area on August 25.
Vatican Radio reported that at the Pope's August 25 Mass in the Casa Santa Marta chapel, prayers were offered for all those affected by the event.
The death toll from the earthquake has reached at least 281, with more than 200 people rescued from the rubble. Because the quake occurred in the early morning, many people were sleeping and unable to escape, increasing the number of people buried when buildings collapsed. Amatrice was among the hardest-hit areas.
Along with the firefighters and police, there are several doctors and nurses from the Vatican prepared to travel to the earthquake-affected areas if their help is needed.