Funeral set for Amatrice after quake survivors rebel

Firefighters carry personal belongings retrieved from houses, in Amatrice, central Italy, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 after last Wednesday's earthquake. (AP)

AMATRICE, Italy (AP) — Construction crews have worked through the night to build a tent complex to host an Italian state funeral in quake-devastated Amatrice after residents denounced the government’s original plan to hold the service in a distant airport hangar.

The funeral late Tuesday for more than 200 of the 292 victims takes place on the edge of Amatrice’s obliterated medieval center on the grounds of a Catholic retreat for the elderly. Italy also observed a second day of national mourning following the Aug. 24 temblor that flattened villages in central Italy.

Initially, authorities planned to hold the funeral in the provincial capital of Rieti and let survivors watch it on TV. Residents already battling grief and trauma rebelled and Premier Matteo Renzi, sensing a public relations disaster, reversed course.