At least thirteen people have died and two children are in critical condition when a cable car cabin collapses in the vicinity of the Italian town of Stresa, in the north of the country and near the border with Switzerland, according to sources from the Emergency services.
The cable car covered the route from Lake Maggiore to the Mottarone mountain . The events occurred around 1:00 p.m. this Sunday when, for reasons under investigation, the cable that supported it broke 300 meters from the arrival station, in the highest part of the route, where it reaches 1,400 meters. high above sea level.
Although at first it was believed that there were only eleven people on board the cable car, authorities have later raised the number of passengers to fifteen , roughly half of the maximum of 35 occupants allowed by the cabin.
The two children, aged five and nine , have been transferred to the Reina Margarita Hospital in Turin in serious condition. The smallest has broken legs, but is conscious. The oldest, on the other hand, is in resuscitation and intubated.
Lowering of a cable car in northern Italy.Lowering of a cable car in northern Italy.ITALY EMERGENCIES
“The witnesses heard a loud whistle and then saw that the cabin was rapidly receding and then rushed at the moment of impact against the pillar,” explained the mayor of the town of Stresa, Marcella Severino, to the Sky Tg24 channel.
The rescue and recovery operations have been enormously complicated because the cabin fell in the middle of the forest within a particularly inaccessible area, to the point that a firefighter vehicle that was heading to the area ended up overturning through the steepness of the terrain, with no casualties that to regret.
“The cable car cabin fell from a relatively high point and ended up next to a large forest,” said Walter Milan, spokesman for the alpine rescue group, on the Rainews 24 channel.
The accident took place 300 meters from the arrival station, in Mottarone, and at an altitude of 1,490 meters, when the cable gave way and the cabin crashed into a forest.The accident took place 300 meters from the arrival station, in Mottarone, and at an altitude of 1,490 meters, when the cable gave way and the cabin crashed into a forest.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Enrico Giovannini, has announced the establishment of an investigation commission and will travel to Stresa this Monday morning to decide the course of action to follow. For his part, the country’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, has already expressed “his condolences to the families of the victims , with special attention to seriously injured children and their families.”
It was on April 24 when the cable car, inaugurated in 1970, was put back into operation after the relaxation of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to La Repubblica , between 2014 and 2016 the installation had undergone a renovation financed by the Piedmont region and the Stresa City Council, the cost of which amounted to 4 million and during which the cables were subjected to a magnetoscopic analysis to confirm their reliability.