A loyal Cocker Spaniel refused to leave the side of his late owner’s coffin during a mass funeral for the victims killed in last week’s devastating earthquake in Italy.
The dog was pictured and filmed in a gym, lying next to his owner’s coffin. The man is believed to be from the village of Accumoli — among the worst hit by the earthquake.
The canine demonstrated his loyalty as relatives had gathered at the state funeral held on Saturday for some of the 291 people who have confirmed to have died in the tragedy last week — Italy’s worst earthquake in seven years.
The sad dog was photographed lying beside his owner who died in this week’s earthquake.
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Among the 35 coffins laid out in a sports gym were smaller ones, for the bodies of an 18-month-old baby and a nine-year-old girl — two of the 21 children who have been confirmed to have died when the earthquake struck central Italy early on Wednesday.
Speaking in front of a crucifix retrieved from one of the dozens of churches destroyed by the quake, Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole said:
Don’t be afraid to bewail your suffering, we have seen so much suffering. But I ask you not to lose your courage.
Only together can we rebuild our houses and churches. Above all, together we can give life back to our communities.
The victim was among 35 bodies laid out in a gymnasium in Ascoli Piceno before the funeral.
As the funeral Mass was being held, rescuers continued their search through the rubble of the worst-hit town, Amatrice, however they had little hope of finding more survivors.
The bodies of nine more victims were recovered from the town on Saturday, including three pulled overnight from the flattened Hotel Roma, which brought the death toll in Amatrice alone to 230 residents and tourists.
Authorities reported that 387 people were still in hospital, with one patient having died of his injuries during the day.
One of the last survivors to be pulled alive from the rubble was a girl named Giorgia, who turned four on Saturday. Her sister Giulia, however, was not so lucky — her small coffin lay at the center of the sports hall for the funeral Mass.
Relatives gathered in a gymnasium where 35 bodies were laid out in the coffins.
Friends and relatives paid their respects to the victims who died in the devastating earthquake.
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