Sole Survivor of Cable Car Crash Is 5-Year-Old Boy

14 were killed in Italy, including 5 members of one family
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2021 5:54 AM CDT
Sole Survivor of Cable Car Crash Is 5-Year-Old Boy
Rescuers work by the wreckage of a cable car after it collapsed near the summit of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont region, northern Italy.   (Vigili del Fuoco Firefighters via AP)

Only one person—a child—survived Sunday's crash of a scenic cable car in the mountains of Italy. Authorities have identified him as 5-year-old Eitan Biran, an Israeli boy living in Italy, and he is recovering in the hospital with head and leg injuries, reports the BBC. He had been on the car going up Mottarone mountain with his parents, two great-grandparents, and his 2-year-old brother, all of whom died in the accident, per Haaretz. Nine other people also were killed, and all were identified as residents of Italy. The investigation is underway, but it appears that a cable snapped before the car plummeted to the ground. The popular tourist attraction, which provides views of picturesque lakes in the Alps, had only recently reopened after COVID restrictions.

"It will be necessary to understand why the safety devices have not been triggered, which should keep the cabin anchored," says a local police commander. One witness described hearing a "loud hiss"—apparently the main cable snapping—and then seeing the car careening down the line until it hit a pylon and crashed to the ground, per the AP. Authorities have to figure out why none of the emergency backups, including brakes, failed to engage. The cable system had been renovated in 2016 and subject to safety checks since then. An aunt of the young survivor was not in the cable car, and she is at the hospital in Turin with Eitan. Other family members were flying to Italy from Israel to join them. (Read more Italy stories.)

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