The crash site of the cable car in the Italian Alps
The crash site of the cable car in the Italian Alps
Photo: AFP
The crash site of the cable car in the Italian Alps

Five Israelis killed, another critically hurt in Italian cable car accident

Italian media report Alpine sky tram plunges to ground and rolls several times down the steep slopes before being stopped by trees; at least 14 people perish in crash in country's north, including one baby; Foreign Ministry says in contact with local authorities

Itamar Eichner, News agencies |
Published: 05.23.21, 21:43
Five Israeli nationals have been killed and another was critically injured after a cable car plunged in the Italian Alps, the Foreign Ministry confirmed Sunday night.
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  • At least 14 people perished in the disaster in northern Italy, including one baby.
    4 View gallery
    The crash site of the cable car in the Italian Alps
    The crash site of the cable car in the Italian Alps
    The crash site of the cable car in the Italian Alps
    (Photo: AFP)
    The ministry in Jerusalem confirmed that among the Israeli casualties were a young couple — both medical students residing in Italy — their child, and another child who was critically injured, and the woman's grandparents who were visiting from Israel. The surviving child was rushed to a local hospital where he underwent surgery after suffering severe head trauma.
    Italian authorities have already contacted the Israeli embassy in Rome regarding the identification of the Israeli victims.
    The Stresa-Mottarone cable car takes tourists and locals from the famous town of Stresa, on Lake Maggiore, up almost 1400 meters above sea level to the top of the Mottarone mountain in 20 minutes.
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    (Photo: AFP)
    "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 traveling up the mountain when the cabin fell some 20 meters to the ground and rolled several times down the steep slopes 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.
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    (Photo: EPA)
    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 pediatric hospital in the nearby city of Turin.
    Severino said that some of the victims had been found trapped inside the car, with others thrown out into the woods.
    "It is a very serious accident," Walter Milan, a spokesman for the national alpine rescue service told RaiNews24 television.
    4 View gallery
    (Photo: EPA)
    According to reports in Italy, the line had maintenance work in 2016, and was recently reopened to the public, after being shut down due to coronavirus restrictions.
    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 kilometers between Stresa and Alpino and another three kilometers between Alpino and Mottarone. It consists of two cars — in alternate directions — with each one carrying up to 40 passengers, it added.
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