Scenic Cable Car Falls, Killing 14

Accident happens on mountain in northern Italy
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2021 12:55 PM CDT
Cable Snaps on Scenic Lift
The cable car crashed in a steep area without road access.   (Italian Vigili del Fuoco Firefighters via AP)

A mountain cable car plunged to the ground Sunday in northern Italy, killing 14 people. Two children, 5 and 9, were seriously injured, the BBC reports. The cars take passengers on a 20-minute trip from the resort town of Stresa up Mottarone mountain for a view of Lake Maggiore. Stresa's mayor said it looks like a cable snapped, per the AP. The cable car careened and hit a pylon, she said. It then hit the ground and flipped "two or three times before hitting some trees," with some of the victims being thrown from the car. The accident happened less than 1,000 feet from the top of the mountain, nearly a mile above the lake. Helicopters lowered rescue crews to the steep, wooded crash site in the Piedmont region, per CNN. The two injured children were then pulled up and flown by helicopter to a hospital in Turin. An adult also was injured.

“It was a terrible, terrible scene," the Stresa mayor said. The cable broke when the car was at a high point above the ground, a rescue official said. A fire engine overturned, without causing any injuries, trying to reach the site, per the Daily Beast. The cable cars, which can hold 40 passengers, reopened recently after being shut down because of the pandemic. The service launched in 1970 and was renovated in 2016. Italy's prime minister, Mario Draghi, extended his sympathy to the families of the victims. David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, posted that "we must get clarity immediately on the cause of this absurd tragedy."

(More Italy stories.)

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