Italy: What we know about the cable car accident on Lake Maggiore

On Pentecost 2021, a cable car in Monte Motaroni crashes, killing 14 people. New investigation results are now expected.

The video from the surveillance camera shows first a state of terror, then horror. Gondola No. 3 of the Monte Mottarone cable car in northern Italy arrives at the mountain station. You can see the relaxed faces of some of the fifteen passengers. Below lies Lake Maggiore and the radiant green spring forests. Suddenly the gondola roared into the abyss, and the towing cable snapped. A few hundred meters away, the cabin collided with a mast and fell to the ground. 14 people were killed, five-year-old Eitan did not survive with serious injuries. The ordeal has come Pentecost 2021 is approaching and on Monday the tragedy will be celebrated for the first time.

At eleven in the morning there will be a service in Stresa, where the valley station of the once famous cable car is located. Then, mourners in a procession up the mountain will go to the scene of the accident and inaugurate a memorial stone with the names of the 14 victims. Last year, the accident site has already become a small place of pilgrimage. Tourists, vacationers and spectators presented intriguing views, and local residents and relatives of the victims placed rosaries, pictures and other souvenirs. It was only in November that the cabin confiscated by the prosecutor’s office was removed.

The investigation into the cable car accident is underway

And now, a year later, the legal treatment of the tragedy is also beginning to take shape. Prosecutor Olympia Bossi of Verbania is investigating twelve people. At the end of June, experts must submit their reports, and after two weeks the evidence proceedings can be completed and the main session scheduled. Finally, expert investigations focused on the causes of ruptures in the traction cable. subordinate Corriere della Sera A few days ago, I quoted an anonymous source as claiming that the rope corroded internally and thus broke. “We now have a clear picture of why the cord has broken,” said Professor Antonello De Luca, one of the reviewers.

If this is the case, investigators must deal specifically with the question of how the corrosion occurred. According to Italian media, it was the Leitner company in South Tyrol that was responsible for the maintenance. He writes “Only regular maintenance could have prevented the crack” Corriere. However, the last time a similar maintenance was done was in 2016, and the next date was due in November, six months after the nacelle broke. Shortly after the accident, it turned out that the emergency braking mechanism of the gondola on the suspension cable had been disabled. The gondola sped up and hit the ground.

The shattered gondolas were covered with tarpaulins next to the forest for a long time. It was only relayed in November.

Photo: Piero Crocetti, dpa

Three suspects have to respond by disabling the emergency brake. They were charged with premeditated murder and aggravated assault. Gabriel T., director of the cable car, admitted turning off the brake mechanism in an emergency. The reason for this was multiple malfunctions, apparently caused by the emergency braking system. According to the prosecutor, the cable car operators did not want to accept any further repair stops after the economically difficult months of the pandemic.

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14 people died in a cable car accident on Lake Maggiore

“To avoid the inefficiency of the cable car, a drastic intervention was necessary, with a long interruption that would have had serious economic consequences,” said Prosecutor Olympia Bossi. Officials were convinced that the traction cable would never break. Cable car operator Luigi N. and security chief Enrico P. are said to have agreed to deactivate the T. Both are also charged.

Eitan’s grandfather fought to keep the boy in Israel.

Photo: Ariel Shalit, dpa

14 people lost their lives as a result of this sequence of events. Only Eitan, who is now six years old, survived. His parents, brother, and grandparents were also in the gondola and died. Then a custody battle over Eitan broke out between his aunt and his maternal grandparents. Aunt Aya Biran-Nirko was granted custody. Eitan’s Israeli grandfather kidnapped the girl to Israel in September. In the end, Israel’s highest court ruled that Eitan should be returned to Italy. There, the Milan juvenile court ruled that the boy should continue to live with his aunt in Pavia, but appointed an independent trustee.

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