State funeral held for dozens of victims of Italian earthquake

Survivors had reacted angrily to plans to hold the funeral in an airport hanger around 60km away from Amatrice

State funeral held for dozens of victims of Italian earthquake

Mourners wait for the start of a state funeral for some of the victims of last Wednesday's earthquake, in Amatrice, central Italy. Image: Andrew Medichini / AP/Press Association Images

A state funeral has been held for 37 people killed in Italy's earthquake.

Hundreds of friends, family members, survivors, and dignitaries packed into a tent put up in a specially cleared area in Amatrice.

People hugged as balloons were released into the sky.

Photos from the scene showed firemen hoisting a crucifix above the makeshift altar ahead of this afternoon's service.

A firefighter helps lift a crucifix prior to a funeral service for victims of the earthquake, in Amatrice, central Italy. Image: Andrew Medichini / AP/Press Association Images

The funeral took place in Amatrice following controversy over initial plans to hold it in the city of Rieti, around 60km away.

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and president Sergio Mattarella were among those attending today's funeral.

It was the second state funeral for victims of the quake, following Saturday's service for 35 of the people killed. A national day of mourning was also marked in Italy on Saturday.

At least 292 people died following the 6.2 magnitude quake last Wednesday, with Reuters reporting that 231 of the victims were found in Amatrice.

Search efforts are continuing, with 10 people reported to still be missing in the town.

Pope Francis has said he wants to visit some of the villages devastated by the earthquake.