Italian cable car plunges to the ground, killing at least 14

Stresa Mayor Marcella Severino said it appeared that a cable broke, sending the car careening until it hit a pylon and then fell to the ground.

Associated Press

May 23, 2021, 7:40 PM

Updated 1,094 days ago

Share:

A cable car taking visitors to a mountaintop view of some of northern Italy's most picturesque lakes plummeted to the ground Sunday and then tumbled down the slope, killing 14 people. A young child was hospitalized in serious condition with broken bones, authorities said.
Stresa Mayor Marcella Severino said it appeared that a cable broke, sending the car careening until it hit a pylon and then fell to the ground. At that point, the car overturned “two or three times before hitting some trees," she said. Some of those who died were thrown from the cabin.
The Italian government announced a commission to investigate the disaster, which is likely to renew questions about the quality and safety of Italy’s transport infrastructure.
Images from the site showed the crumpled car in a clearing of a thick patch of pine trees near the summit of the Mottarone peak overlooking Lake Maggiore. The car was believed to have fallen around 15 meters (50 feet), according to Italian media.
“It was a terrible, terrible scene," Severino told Italy's SkyTG24.
The plunge on the the Stresa-Mottarone line happened about 100 meters (yards) before the final pylon, said Walter Milan, spokesman for Italy’s Alpine rescue service.
From Reuters
By Sunday evening, the death toll had risen to 14 dead after one of two children taken to Turin's Regina Margherita children's hospital died. The child died after several attempts to restart his heart failed and “there was nothing more we could do," said hospital spokesman Pier Paolo Berra. The other young child, who arrived at the hospital conscious, remained in serious condition, authorities said.
Milan noted that the cable line had been renovated in 2016 and had only recently reopened after coronavirus lockdowns in Italy curtailed travel and forced the suspension of many leisure activities. Milan suggested many families may have flocked to the mountain on a sunny Sunday after months of restrictions.
The line is popular with tourists and locals alike to scale Mottarone, which reaches a height of 1,491 meters (4,900 feet) and overlooks several picturesque lakes and the surrounding Alps of Italy’s Piedmont region.
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.
Premier Mario Draghi offered his condolences to the families of the victims “with a particular thought about the seriously injured children and their families."
Sunday's tragedy appeared to be Italy’s worst cable car disaster since 1998 when a low-flying U.S. military jet cut through the cable of a ski lift in Cavalese, in the Dolomites, killing 20 people.
Italy’s transport minister, Enrico Giovannini, announced a commission to look into the tragedy and said he had already requested data on the maintenance work and inspections done on the line in the past. He planned to visit the site Monday.
While the cause hasn’t been determined, the disaster was likely to raise questions about Italy’s transport infrastructure. In 2018, the Morandi bridge in Genoa collapsed after years of neglect, killing 43 people.
In 2009, a freight train carrying gas derailed at the Viareggio station, near Lucca, and exploded, killing 32 people. Poorly maintained axels of the train were blamed.
President Sergio Mattarella, in offering his condolences, called for the “rigorous respect of all security norms” in transportation.
By NICOLE WINFIELD
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


More from News 12
2:06
Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from Northeast reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from Northeast reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

1:55
STORM WATCH: Sunny and warm in Connecticut, rain expected Wednesday into Thursday

STORM WATCH: Sunny and warm in Connecticut, rain expected Wednesday into Thursday

2:14
Event in Stamford raises funds for woman with ALS

Event in Stamford raises funds for woman with ALS

2:18
‘It’s not enough.’ CT lawmakers demand changes after former budget deputy indicted

‘It’s not enough.’ CT lawmakers demand changes after former budget deputy indicted

1:50
Retailers slashing prices this summer following store closures nationwide

Retailers slashing prices this summer following store closures nationwide

0:20
Avelo Airlines announces nonstop service from HVN to Washington D.C’s Dulles International Airport

Avelo Airlines announces nonstop service from HVN to Washington D.C’s Dulles International Airport

0:29
Natural gas odor in Bridgeport prompts evacuation of Bryant Elementary School

Natural gas odor in Bridgeport prompts evacuation of Bryant Elementary School

0:42
Norwalk officials say 61% of double pole transfers made, 31% of removals completed

Norwalk officials say 61% of double pole transfers made, 31% of removals completed

2:32
Experts share tips for National Safe Boating Week

Experts share tips for National Safe Boating Week

0:23
Officials: Arrest made in last September's New Milford fatal car crash

Officials: Arrest made in last September's New Milford fatal car crash

3:36
Made In Connecticut: Manufacturing drones in Stratford

Made In Connecticut: Manufacturing drones in Stratford

2:03
Bodycam video released by authorities shows knife-wielding man charging at Bridgeport officer

Bodycam video released by authorities shows knife-wielding man charging at Bridgeport officer

0:21
Wolfpit Road reopens following gas main break in Wilton

Wolfpit Road reopens following gas main break in Wilton

2:09
Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month: Greenwich Japanese School to host student performance

Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month: Greenwich Japanese School to host student performance

2:21
Stamford High School student mourned after deadly motorcycle crash

Stamford High School student mourned after deadly motorcycle crash

2:13
CT offers health care providers $50,000 to work in underserved areas

CT offers health care providers $50,000 to work in underserved areas

2:09
Greenwich teen's nonprofit holds 1st annual golf club giveaway

Greenwich teen's nonprofit holds 1st annual golf club giveaway

0:44
Gov. Lamont says he was unaware of Kosta Diamantis' alleged illegal activities

Gov. Lamont says he was unaware of Kosta Diamantis' alleged illegal activities

1:56
Pro-Palestinian protesters call for ceasefire before Yale’s 323rd commencement

Pro-Palestinian protesters call for ceasefire before Yale’s 323rd commencement

0:37
Norwalk Public Schools awarded $21.5 million for heating and cooling systems

Norwalk Public Schools awarded $21.5 million for heating and cooling systems