A five-year-old Israeli boy is the sole survivor of a fall from a tourist cable car cabin that killed 14 people in Italy. The boy is hospitalized in the city of Turin, with a head trauma and fractured legs.
On Monday (24), the Milanese public prosecutor opened an investigation to investigate the causes of the accident, which occurred in Stresa on Sunday (23). The cabin fell 100 meters from the last cable car station, which went from Lake Maggiore to Mottarone mountain, 1490 meters high.
According to the director of the hospital where the boy is hospitalized, his condition is critical. “But we are hopeful. The next 48 hours are crucial,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.
The boy’s mother, father, brother and great-grandparents, who accompanied him on the tour, are among the victims.
The funeral of the Israeli victims will take place in Israel on Wednesday, according to the president of the Jewish community of Milan, Milo Hasnabi. According to rescuers, a freight cable broke, and the cabin, with 15 people inside, collapsed from a height of 15 meters and then tipped over part of the slope, before hitting a tree. Authorities have ruled out an overload problem, as the cabins can carry more than 35 passengers.
The accident happened on the day Italy authorized the opening of tourist facilities across the peninsula, after months of closure due to restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Criticism has been leveled at the state of infrastructure across the country, and many people recalled the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa in 2018, which left 43 people dead.
The Minister of Transport met with local and regional authorities on Monday. “All institutions are working together, not only to prevent this from happening again, but also to help those affected and their families (…) It is important to understand the dynamics of what happened”, a- he declared.
“These are hypotheses, but I believe that there was a double problem: the rupture of the cable and the malfunction of the emergency brake”, declared the regional commander of the rescuers, Matteo Gasparini, quoted by the newspaper La Stampa. “We don’t know why the brake was not applied,” he added.
The damaged cable car was closed between 2014 and 2016 for renovation and maintenance.