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Pope Francis dispatches Vatican firefighters to join rescue effort in Italy

Earlier on Wednesday, the pope cancelled a scheduled speech at his weekly general audience on religious teachings and instead prayed with the crowd for victims and survivors of the quake. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Vatican City Aug 25, 2016, 09.18 AM (IST)
Pope Francis dispatched one-sixth of the Vatican's tiny fire department yesterday to join rescue efforts in central Italy which was hit by a powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake on early Wednesday (August 24), killing at least 247 and injuring hundred others. 

The total force of Vatican’s fire department numbers 37, out of which 6 travelled to the town of Amatrice to help civil protection workers look for survivors still trapped in the rubble.

Amatrice is one of the four small mountain towns demolished by the earthquake.

Earlier on Wednesday, the pope cancelled a scheduled speech at his weekly general audience on religious teachings and instead prayed with the crowd for victims and survivors of the quake.

"Hearing the mayor of Amatrice say that the town no longer exists and learning that there are children among the victims, I am deeply saddened," he told tens of thousands of people gathered in St Peter's Square.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)
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