At least fourteen people were killed Sunday afternoon in a cable car accident in northern Italy.
A cable car carrying at least 15 people collapsed in the Piedmont region of northern Italy Sunday, in between the resort town of Stresa and the Mottarone mountain in the Italian Alps.
The collapse was apparently caused by a tear in the tow rope, local authorities say.
Two children were airlifted to a Turin hospital for treatment. One of them died after arriving at the hospital, however.
The cable car collapsed into a wooded area, impeding rescue efforts.
“We are devastated, in pain,” Marcella Severino, mayor of Stresa, told broadcaster RAI.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi tweeted his condolences to the victims’ families following the “tragic accident”.
“A special thought goes to the gravely injured children and their families.”
Local authorities said a number of the victims were foreign nationals, with reports indicating that at least six Israeli nationals were killed.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Israeli citizens were among the dead.
“The latest update we have from the authorities in Italy is that six Israelis were killed in the cable car disaster,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday night.
“They include two parents and their two children who are living in Italy, along with an elderly couple who apparently live in Israel. It is unclear if the two families are related. The matter is under investigation.”
Source: Arutz Sheva
A major incident in northern Italy has left at least 14 people dead after a cable snapped, sending a cable car falling near a mountain peak. Two injured children were airlifted to Turin.
The incident happened on Sunday in the Italian Alps on the cableway line which connects the commune of Stresa near Lake Maggiore with the top of Mount Mottarone.
A car fell near a pylon in one of the highest points of the cableway close to the summit. The disaster occurred due to a cable failure, preliminary reports indicate.
The cable car fell from a “relatively high point,” an alpine rescue service spokesman, Walter Milan, told Italy’s Rai News broadcaster, adding that it appears to be “completely crumpled” and almost “destroyed,” indicating that the impact “was obviously significant.”
🔴 #Piemonte, funivia #StresaMottarone: il 118 piemontese ha confermato che 9 persone sono decedute, mentre 2 minorenni sono stati elitrasportati in codice rosso a Torino. Proseguono le operazioni di Soccorso Alpino, @emergenzavvf, 118, @_Carabinieri_ e altri enti dello Stato. pic.twitter.com/ommsfJ4qm4
— Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico (@cnsas_official) May 23, 2021
CNSAS, the Italian alpine rescue service, confirmed that 13 people were killed in the crash, adding that this figure could “unfortunately” rise even further. They also said two air ambulances were among the vehicles dispatched to the site of the incident. They airlifted two children who were injured after the fall to a hospital in Turin.
The death toll from the cable car crash reached 14 late on Sunday, as one of the two children transported to a hospital in Turin succumbed to the injuries they had sustained in the incident, Italy’s alpine rescue service said.
Italy’s Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini called the incident a “truly terrible tragedy” and said that he already contacted local authorities and the rescue services.
The place where the tragedy happened is a popular tourist destination during both summer and winter. The cableway started operating in the 1960s and underwent an upgrade several years ago, restarting after a pause in 2016. The cable car can accommodate up to 40 passengers.
At least 14 people, including five Israelis, died and a child was seriously injured on Sunday when a cable car linking Italy’s Lake Maggiore with a nearby mountain plunged to the ground, officials and rescuers said.
The Stresa-Mottarone cable car takes tourists and locals from the town on Lake Maggiore, almost 1,400 metres above sea level to the top of the Mottarone mountain in 20 minutes.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had been informed by Italian authorities that five of its nationals were among the dead and one Israeli was in a critical condition.
“We are devastated, in pain,” Marcella Severino, Stresa’s mayor told broadcaster RAI, while Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi voiced his condolences to the families of the victims.
The cable car was travelling up the mountain when the cabin plummeted some 20 metres to the ground and rolled down the steep slope several times before it was stopped by trees, Severino said.
People hiking nearby heard a loud hiss just before the crash, she said, adding that the accident was believed to have been caused by one of the cables breaking.
Severino said that some of the victims had been found trapped inside the car, with others thrown into the woods.
Coroners had started identifying the victims, who included foreign nationals, she said, without giving further details.
Italy’s alpine rescue service said a call had first come just after midday (1000 GMT), adding that the cable car was lying “crumpled” in the woods and two children were taken by helicopter to a paediatric hospital in the nearby city of Turin.
The elder of the two, who was believed to be between 9 and 10, died after suffering two cardiac arrests, the hospital said.
Director General Giovanni La Valle said the hospital did not have personal data for the two children and that nobody had been in contact with the hospital for them, indicating that other family members could have been involved in the accident.
The younger child, estimated to be 5 years old, was conscious on arrival and was undergoing surgery to stabilise multiple fractures, La Valle said.
‘Hard to believe’
The Stresa-Mottarone lift had only recently re-opened following the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
“It’s a terrible moment for me and for our community and I think also for the whole of Italy. Especially now that we were just beginning to restart (after the pandemic),” Severino said.
The Mottarone peak is popular among tourists because of its panoramic views on Lake Maggiore and its picturesque islands as well as the vista of the surrounding Alps.
The cable car service first opened in August 1970 after almost three years of works to replace a cog railway, its website said.
The dual cable system is split into two sections, just over two kilometres between Stresa and Alpino and another three kilometres between Alpino and Mottarone. It consist of two cars – in alternate directions – with each one carrying up to 40 passengers, it added.
Severino said that important maintenance works, including changing the cables, had been carried out in recent years.
“All of this is hard to believe,” the mayor said.