Cable vehicle plunges to the ground, killing at least 13 in Italy

Henrietta Strickland
May 25, 2021

The Stresa-Mottarone cable vehicle dropped 60 feet, Marcella Severino, mayor of the town of Stresa, told Reuters, adding that the cabin rolled several times down the steep slopes before it was stopped by the trees.

A call came just after midday, Italy's alpine rescue service said, adding that the cable auto was "crumpled" in the woods and two children had been taken by helicopter to a pediatric hospital in the nearby city of Turin.

A cable vehicle taking visitors to a mountaintop view of some of northern Italy's most picturesque lakes plummeted to the ground and then tumbled down the slope, killing at least 13 people and sending two children to the hospital in serious condition, authorities said. Some of those who died were thrown from the cabin.

Director General Giovanni La Valle said the hospital did not have personal data for the two children and that nobody had been in contact with the hospital for them, indicating that other family members could have been involved in the accident.

"It was a bad, awful scene", Severino told Italy's SkyTG24.

A spokesman said two children aged nine and five had been seriously injured and taken by helicopter to a paediatric hospital in Turin.

The lift had just recently re-opened following the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

The Mottarone peak is popular among tourists because of its panoramic views on Lake Maggiore and its picturesque islands as well as the vista of the surrounding Alps.

At that point, the auto overturned "two or three times before hitting some trees", she said.

The trip up the mountain from the base at the lake features a cable vehicle to get up halfway and then a chairlift to reach a small amusement park, Alpyland, further up that has a children's rollercoaster offering 360-degree views of the scenery.

Sunday was a lovely, sunny day in the area, and Mr Milan said that many families were taking advantage of the weather to enjoy a day out after months of lockdown.

The mountain hosts a small amusement park, Alpyland, that has a children's rollercoaster, and the area also has mountain bike paths and hiking trails.

The Stresa-Mottarone cable vehicle line advertises a panoramic, 20-minute trip up the mountain, offering a view of seven lakes at the peak.

At least nine people were killed when the cable auto collapsed, according to the Associated Press.

Premier Mario Draghi offered his condolences to the families of the victims "with a particular thought about the seriously injured children and their families".

While the cause hasn't been determined, it's the latest episode to raise questions about the quality of Italy's transport infrastructure.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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