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 1,118 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
0:29
Saugerties man convicted of manslaughter for fatally beating man in 2022

Saugerties man convicted of manslaughter for fatally beating man in 2022

1:23
Mostly sunny weekend weather and low humidity in the Hudson Valley

Mostly sunny weekend weather and low humidity in the Hudson Valley

2:04
Village of Sleepy Hollow raises Pride flag for first time despite opposition from some residents

Village of Sleepy Hollow raises Pride flag for first time despite opposition from some residents

1:39
Showing support for Ukraine in the Hudson Valley during Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival

Showing support for Ukraine in the Hudson Valley during Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival

0:47
Westchester Medical Center pioneers robotic procedure to help those with severe hearing loss

Westchester Medical Center pioneers robotic procedure to help those with severe hearing loss

0:29
Carmel police warn people about recent car burglaries

Carmel police warn people about recent car burglaries

0:35
Prosecutors: Former Wallkill firefighter sentenced to prison for 2021 arson incident

Prosecutors: Former Wallkill firefighter sentenced to prison for 2021 arson incident

1:47
EXCLUSIVE: News 12 uncovers police data that shows 19 children struck by vehicles in Ramapo in 6 months

EXCLUSIVE: News 12 uncovers police data that shows 19 children struck by vehicles in Ramapo in 6 months

1:28
Officials: 7 people injured, 13 families displaced in Yonkers fire

Officials: 7 people injured, 13 families displaced in Yonkers fire

0:33
Dutchess County Sheriff's Office: Connecticut man killed in Town of Dover crash

Dutchess County Sheriff's Office: Connecticut man killed in Town of Dover crash

1:03
PARENTS: Dutchess County children lost for 2 hours on nightmare bus ride home

PARENTS: Dutchess County children lost for 2 hours on nightmare bus ride home

1:35
Orange County billiard player wins national championship, first competitor from Hudson Valley to do so in 30 years

Orange County billiard player wins national championship, first competitor from Hudson Valley to do so in 30 years

0:46
Police: 1 killed, 2 injured in East Fishkill collision involving garbage truck

Police: 1 killed, 2 injured in East Fishkill collision involving garbage truck

0:23
Democratic Westchester DA candidate Adeel Mirza drops out of race

Democratic Westchester DA candidate Adeel Mirza drops out of race

2:19
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts provides summer entertainment in Katonah

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts provides summer entertainment in Katonah

0:41
Weather On The Road: Matt Hammer visits New York Boulders stadium

Weather On The Road: Matt Hammer visits New York Boulders stadium

2:33
Food Truck Friday: The Patty Wagon from Freddy's Restaurant in Pleasantville

Food Truck Friday: The Patty Wagon from Freddy's Restaurant in Pleasantville

Is your dad awesome? Hudson Valley tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Hudson Valley tell us why your dad rocks!

1:46
Parents: Suffern High School students suspended, banned from prom after livestock senior prank

Parents: Suffern High School students suspended, banned from prom after livestock senior prank

1:51
John Oliver delivers kitchen equipment to cake bear makers as next LWT episode nears

John Oliver delivers kitchen equipment to cake bear makers as next LWT episode nears