A Wearside actor says he feels lucky to be alive after he was in an Italian resort just 24 hours before an avalanche took place in the area.
Jordan Todd, from Washington, is currently touring Europe as part of a production of the musical Grease.
On Wednesday, a trio of earthquakes occurred in the Abruzzo region of Italy, with authorities claiming dozens of people are missing.
Some of the dead were found inside the Hotel Rigopiano in the town of Farindola on the Gran Sasso mountain.
Italy’s civil protection agency has confirmed that 30 people are missing in the avalanche.
The quakes shook central Italy, including Rome, on Wednesday morning.
The tremors came after 36 hours of steady snowfall in mountainous areas around Amatrice and Norcia.
Jordan and the cast and crew of the production were in the area where the avalanche took place less than a day before it happened, and also witnessed the earthquake itself.
Luckily they were a few hours’ drive away from where the avalanche fell.
“We’ve been here since January 9 and the weather has been really bad, snow and rain the whole time,” said former Biddick School pupil Jordan, 24, who appeared in the Britain’s Got Talent competition as part of the Kingdom Tenors group in 2015.
“When the earthquake started to happen, it was such a scary feeling.
“At first, we didn’t realise what was going on, then we looked outside and saw the walls and the trees begin to shake.
“The whole thing just came out of nowhere.
“I’ve got no words to say how sad I am that people have lost their lives, it makes me speechless, but I know I’m lucky we were able to get away.”
Jordan is now in regular contact with dad Les, 54, and Gaynor, 51, at the family home in Fatfield to let them know he is safe.
“I was actually at the phone to them when one of the tremors started so it was a scary time for them too,” added Jordan, who also has a brother Jack, 14.
“Even though I’m far away and have been since October, my family are very loving so I speak to them all of the time, nearly every day now.
“They’ve just told me to be careful and look after myself.”
Despite the ordeal, Jordan added that he is looking forward to the rest of the tour before returning home next month.
“The tour has been mainly Italy but we’re also going to Sicily and Sardinia before finishing,” said Jordan, who plays Roger in the production.
“We’ve been away a while so I’ll be glad to go on holiday.
“But I’ve seen things I never expected to see.”