Published: Tue, May 25, 2021
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Safety brake on Italian cable auto failed after line snapped

Safety brake on Italian cable auto failed after line snapped

At least 14 people have died with one child seriously injured after a cable vehicle plunged to the ground in northern Italy near the resort town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore, according to emergency services.

The five-year-old boy remained in hospital, the only survivor of Sunday's accident on the summit of Mottarone mountain in the northwest Piedmont region, with a hospital official saying the next two days were critical.

Firefighters and Alpine rescuers rushed to the scene of the accident, but operations were complicated as the cable vehicle fell in a wooded area where a steep slope made access hard.

The auto was on a 20-minute voyage up 4,891 feet to the top of the mountain, when a cable snapped Sunday morning about 984 feet from the top of the mountain, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

According to News24, the accident may have been caused by a broken cable at the top of the system.

The transport ministry said a preliminary check of the cable line's safety and maintenance record shows that the whole lift structure underwent a renovation in August 2016 and that a full maintenance check was performed in 2017.

This is a developing story.

The plunge on the the Stresa-Mottarone line happened about 100 metres before the final pylon, said Walter Milan, spokesman for Italy's Alpine rescue service.

The cable vehicle was closed between 2014 and 2016 for maintenance work.

In on-camera comments to LaPresse news agency and other reporters in her office, Bossi noted that the emergency brake had engaged on the other cable vehicle that was traveling in the opposite direction, down the mountain.

The child's parents, younger brother, and two great-grandparents were among the dead, Israel's Foreign Ministry said, correcting an earlier statement that had included Eitan among the victims.

"Some were killed inside, while others were thrown from the auto". The cause has not been determined.

This afternoon, they said nine had died.

That meant the cable auto began quickly falling back and picking up speed before it "ended up catapulted out of the support cables", Gasparini said.

"I express the sympathy of all the government to the families of the victims, with particular thought to the children involved who have been left seriously hurt, and their families as well".

Italian minister Enrico Giovannini said: "A awful tragedy".

Europe has seen a number of similar cable vehicle accidents over the past 50 years.

It had only recently reopened after the pandemic forced the closure of ski lifts and mountain resorts across Italy.

The cable auto had been reopened to the public after the lockdown due to Covid-19 on 24 April 24.

Mottarone reaches a height of 1,491m (4,900ft) and overlooks the picturesque lake and the surrounding Alps of Italy's Piedmont region.

The mountain features a small amusement park, Alpyland, that has a children's rollercoaster offering 360-degree views of the scenery.

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