Boy who survived Italy’s cable car crash leaves hospital

Boy who survived Italy's cable car crash leaves hospital
The wreckage of the cable car on the slopes of the Mottarone peak above Stresa, Piedmont. Photo: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP
The sole survivor of a deadly cable car crash in Italy was released from hospital on Thursday, health authorities said, noting that the five-year-old's condition was "much improved".

Fourteen people, including Eitan’s Israeli parents, younger brother and great-grandparents, were killed in the accident on May 24th after a cable snapped on the line bringing weekend visitors to the top of the Piedmont region’s Mottarone mountain.

“Early this morning Eitan was discharged from the Isola Margherita ward of the Regina Margherita hospital,” said the Turin children’s hospital in a statement.

READ ALSO: ‘Deactivated brake’: Three people arrested over cable car disaster in Italy

The child – who had suffered from severe chest and abdomen injuries – returned home to Pavia, south of Milan, with his aunt, the hospital said.

“His condition is much improved now,” said the statement, adding that a full recovery would take 60 days.

Eitan was airlifted in critical condition to the hospital after the accident and spent a week in intensive care.

The cable car accident, which came at the start of Italy’s much-anticipated reopening to tourists after coronavirus closures, was the country’s worst in over two decades.

It remains unclear why the pull cable snapped just before the car reached the summit on the 20-minute trip up the mountain.

Investigations have revealed however that emergency brakes which could have prevented the tragedy by stopping the car on its supporting cable had been deactivated.

Because the brake was not activated, the car flew backwards and crashed to the ground, sliding down the mountain before coming to a stop.

Police arrested the owner of the cable car operating company and a technical director, but released them soon thereafter pending an investigation.

The company’s chief technician remains under house arrest. He has admitted to disabling the brake system because of recurring malfunctions, according to the chief prosecutor. He said he did it because the system was malfunctioning and had halted service several times, and insisted that he acted in agreement with the two other suspects.

But judge Donatella Banci Bonamici found a “total lack of evidence against Nerini and Perocchio,” according to a ruling quoted by the Corriere della Sera newspaper on Sunday.

According to the judge, Tadini tried to shift some of the blame on his two superiors after acting “with total disregard for human life, with bewildering carelessness.”


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.