More than a dozen people died and at least three were seriously injured in Italy on Sunday (May 23) when a cable car linking Lake Maggiore with a nearby mountain in the Alps plunged to the ground.
The Stresa-Mottarone cable car carries tourists and local people from the town of Stresa, almost 1,400 meters above sea level, to the top of the Mottarone mountain.
The cable car cabin plunged close to the second last pillar as it was moving up the mountain, according to Simone Bobbio, a spokesman for Italy’s alpine rescue service.
Marcella Severino, Stresa’s mayor told a national broadcaster that the accident happened as the cable car was traveling up the mountain.
The cabin dropped some 20 meters and rolled several times down the steep slopes before it was stopped by trees.
Coroners had started identifying the victims, who included foreign nationals, she said, without giving further details.
Another spokesperson for the Italian alpine rescue service told a local broadcaster that two children had been transported by helicopter to a pediatric hospital in the nearby northern city of Turin.
The Stresa-Mottarone lift had only recently re-opened following the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi voiced his condolences to the families of the victims, “with a special thought” for the injured children.