Rome, Italy: A cable car plunged into the side of a mountain in northern Italy, killing thirteen people and badly injuring two children, according to rescue authorities.
The toll could rise further from the accident in Stresa, a resort town on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy’s Piedmont region, the Alpine rescue service said on Twitter.
The catastrophe happened in the Piedmont vacation town of Stresa, which is located on the banks of Lake Maggiore.
Tourists flock to the 20-minute cable car journey that connects Stresa with the 1,500-meter (4,900-foot) summit of the Mottarone mountain, which provides breathtaking views of the Alps.
#Italy, at least 8 people have been killed and three more – including two children – are badly injured after a cable car plunged to the ground in #Mottarone (Northern Italy)#23maggio #Verbania pic.twitter.com/lNLBiSXAvh
— carla signorile (@carlasignorile) May 23, 2021
According to a representative for the emergency services, nine persons were killed, while two children aged nine and five were injured and flown to a pediatric hospital in Turin by helicopter.
A statement by Prime Minister Mario Draghi expressed his “profound grief” and offered his condolences to the victim’s families.
The catastrophe happened at approximately 12:30 p.m. (1030 GMT), when the cabin was about 100 meters from the peak, according to the ministry of infrastructure.
Images from the fire department show rubble from the white and red cabin in a mountainous wooded location with restricted access.
European Council President Charles Michel offered a tweet in Italian expressing his “most sincere condolences to the families and friends who have lost a loved one in this tragic accident.”
Fire service images showed debris from the white and red cabin in a steep wooded area where access appeared difficult.
Between 2014 and 2016, the cable car system was closed for repairs.
Nine German skiers were killed on September 5, 2005, when an 800 kilo (1,760 lb) concrete block fell from a helicopter transporting it near the popular Austrian Tyrol resort of Soelden onto a cable carrying their cabin.
In February 1998, a low-flying US military jet severed a cable at Cavalese, a ski resort in Italy’s Dolomites, killing 20 people.
Cavalese was also the scene of a 1976 disaster when a steel supporting cable broke, killing 42 people.
COVER IMAGE COURTESY OF MARK LOWEN VIA TWITTER
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