Thirteen people dead after mountain cable car falls to the ground

·2-min read
<p>A cable car crashed to the ground in northern Italy</p> (Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino)

A cable car crashed to the ground in northern Italy

(Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino)

At least 13 people have died after a mountain top cable car fell to the ground near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

The cable car was transporting passengers from the resort town of Stresa up the nearby Mottarone mountain in the Piedmont region.

Officials said two children, aged five and nine, were taken from the scene by helicopter to hospital in Turin.

The youngest child, a boy, suffered head trauma, thoracoabdominal trauma and lower limb fractures but is still conscious, according to Sky Italia.

“It is a very serious accident,” Alpine rescue service spokesman Walter Milan said.

The cable car dropped near the summit of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont regionVigili del Fuoco/AFP via Getty
The cable car dropped near the summit of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont regionVigili del Fuoco/AFP via Getty

The rescue call arrived just after midday after the cable car fell from a great height. It is now sitting “crumpled” in the woods below, Mr Milan added.

A photo of the wreckage taken by Italy’s fire service showed the damaged remains of the cable car among a thick patch of pine trees.

Fire crews, including a helicopter and mountain rescue teams, are on scene.

Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, Enrico Giovannini said: “A terrible tragedy, I have already spoken with the prefect and the director of the Fire Brigade and Civil Protection.

“We are trying to understand what has happened, but it is a truly terrible tragedy.”

The Stresa Mottarone cable car takes tourists and locals almost 1400 metres above sea level to the top of the Mottarone mountain in 20 minutes.

Mr Milan said that the cable line had been renovated in 2016 and had only recently reopened after coronavirus restrictions forced the closures of ski lifts across Italy.

The cause of the incident remains unclear, but local reports suggest the cable carrying the vehicle may have failed about 300m (984ft) from the top of the mountain.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi described the crash as a “tragic accident” and said he was receiving updates from the minister of infrastructure and transport as well as local officials.

“I express the condolences of the whole Government to the families of the victims, with a special thought for the seriously injured children and their families,” he said in a statement.

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