Italy: thirteen dead and two seriously injured in the fall of a cable car
Sylvie Claire / May 23, 2021
The fall of a cable car cabin killed 13 people and seriously injured two on Sunday in Stresa, a resort in Piedmont on the shores of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, according to the rescue services. The final toll of the tragic accident is 13 victims and two seriously injured who were airlifted to Turin, the Alpine Rescue said on its Twitter account. A previous report stated that 12 people were killed and two injured.
The two injured are children aged nine and five years hospitalized in Turin in serious condition. The first is in intensive care and his prognosis is vital, according to the daily Il Corriere della Sera. The second, conscious, suffers from a head injury and leg fractures. Still according to the newspaper, German tourists are among the victims. The information has not been confirmed by official sources.
The accident occurred around 12:30 pm, 100 meters from the last station of the cable car. It would be due to the rupture of a cable, on the highest part of the course, making fall the cabin in which were 15 people. A problem of overloading seemed to be ruled out from the outset, since these cabins can carry more than 35 passengers.
The first images of the tragedy released by the authorities show firefighters and police around the debris of the red and white cabin, which fell in a wooded area whose steep slope makes access difficult.
The cable car connects in 20 minutes the village of Stresa to Mount Mottarone, which rises to nearly 1,500 meters, offering a spectacular view of Lake Maggiore and the Alps. It had been closed between 2014 and 2016 for maintenance work.
The shores of Lake Maggiore, a pre-alpine lake between Switzerland and Italy, are a popular destination for Italian and foreign tourists.
Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, expressed on Twitter, in a message in Italian, his deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost a loved one in this tragic accident.
Several fatal cable car, gondola or funicular accidents have occurred in Europe over the past 50 years
In Italy, an accident occurred on February 3, 1998: a U.S. military aircraft severed the cable of a cable car in Cavalese, a ski resort in the Dolomites, killing the 20 passengers in the cabin. Also in Cavalese, but 20 years earlier, in 1976, the breakage of a carrying cable caused a cabin to fall, killing 42 people.