Cable Car Crash: Italy Opens Investigation Into Tragedy

Cable Car tragedy killed 14, including all but one child of an Israeli family. Credit: CNSAS Facebook

Criminal charges are possible Italian officials say in the cable car disaster that killed 14 people on Sunday.

Lead prosecutor Olimpia Bossi said the tragedy, which happened near Lake Maggiore, told reporters the investigation will look at why the cable snapped and the brakes of the cable car system failed.

“The cable was on the ground, broken. The brakes of the security system didn’t work. Otherwise, the cabin would have stopped as the other cable car stopped while it was at the bottom of the line. So, these are the facts, but the reason why that happened is naturally under investigation,” she said.

“Everything will be subject to technical checks in the coming days. We are carrying out investigations and technical checks,” she added.

Charges which could be brought the cable car’s owners, Ferrovie del Mottarone, include “multiple manslaughter” and “attempted manslaughter” of the only survivor, a five-year-old Israeli boy living in Italy, Eitan Biran.

His parents, younger brother and two great-grandparents were killed in tragedy. being among those killed in the disaster.

The Israeli foreign ministry named the victims as Amit Biran, 30, his wife Tal Peleg-Biran, 26, their son Tom Biran, aged two, who lived in Lombardy, and Ms Peleg-Biran’s grandparents Barbara Cohen Konisky, 70, and Yitzhak Cohen, 82, from Tel Aviv.

The cable car which had a capacity of 40 people was only carrying 14 people when it plunged towards the ground landing in an inaccessible woodland area which had hampered rescue efforts.

The cable car system was renovated in August 2016 and was checked again in 2017 and 2020. The cables were not due to be replaced until 2029.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.