Five-year-old is the only apparent survivor as the cable car plunges 20m into the Italian Alps –

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Five-year-old is the only apparent survivor as the cable car plunges 20m into the Italian Alps – fr


Some of the victims were thrown into the woods as the car hurtled down the steep slopes of Mottarone Mountain

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STRESA, Italy, May 23 (Reuters) – At least 14 people, including five Israelis, have died and a five-year-old child was seriously injured on Sunday when a cable car connecting Italy’s Lake Maggiore with a nearby mountain fell to the ground, officials and rescuers said.

The Stresa-Mottarone cable car takes tourists and locals alike across Lake Maggiore, almost 1,400 meters above sea level, to the top of 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 critical condition.

“We are devastated, in pain,” Marcella Severino, mayor of Stresa, told RAI, while Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.

The cable car was ascending the mountain when the cabin dropped about 20 meters to the ground and hurtled down the steep slope several times before being stopped by trees, Severino said.

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People walking nearby heard a loud whistle just before the crash, she said, adding that the crash was believed to have been caused by one of the cables breaking.

Severino said some of the victims were found trapped inside the car, while others were thrown into the woods.

Fourteen people died on May 23, 2021, after a cable car crashed into the ground in northern Italy, Italian firefighters “Vigili del Fuoco” said. Photo by Handout / Firemen

Coroners had started to identify the victims, including foreign nationals, she said, without giving further details.

The Italian Alpine Rescue Service said a call arrived just after noon (10:00 GMT), adding that the cable car was ‘crumpled’ in the woods and two children had been taken by helicopter to a pediatric hospital in the nearby town. from Turin.

The eldest of the two, who is believed to be between 9 and 10, has died after suffering two cardiac arrests, the hospital said.

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Director-General Giovanni La Valle said the hospital did not have personal data for the two children and that no one had been in contact with the hospital for them, indicating that other family members could have been involved in the accident.

The youngest child, estimated to be 5, was conscious upon arrival and was undergoing surgery to stabilize multiple fractures, La Valle said.

‘HARD TO BELIEVE’

The Stresa-Mottarone elevator had only recently reopened following the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

“It’s a terrible moment for me and for our community and I also think for all of Italy. Especially now that we are just starting to restart (after the pandemic), ”Severino said.

Mottarone Peak is popular with tourists due to its panoramic views of Lake Maggiore and its picturesque islands as well as the view of the surrounding Alps.

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The cable car service opened in August 1970 after nearly three years of work to replace a cog railway, its website says.

The double cable system is divided into two sections, just over two kilometers between Stresa and Alpino and an additional three kilometers between Alpino and Mottarone. It consists of two cars – in alternating directions – each capable of carrying up to 40 passengers, he added.

Severino said major maintenance work, including changing cables, had been carried out in recent years.

“It is all hard to believe,” the mayor said.

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Additional reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Alexander Smith)

Italian “Vigili del Fuoco” rescuers work in a cable car that crashed to the ground in the seaside resort of Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore in the Piedmont region.
Italian “Vigili del Fuoco” rescuers work in a cable car that crashed to the ground in the seaside resort of Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore in the Piedmont region. Photo by document / firefighters

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