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© Reuters. Police and rescue service members are seen close to the crashed cable automobile after it collapsed in Stresa, close to Lake Maggiore, Italy Might 23, 2021. ITALIAN POLICE/Handout by way of REUTERS

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By Giulia Segreti, Flavio Lo Scalzo and Alex Fraser

STRESA, Italy (Reuters) -No less than 14 individuals died and a baby was severely injured on Sunday when a cable automobile linking Italy’s Lake Maggiore with a close-by mountain plunged 20 metres to the bottom, native officers and rescuers stated.

The Stresa-Mottarone cable automobile takes vacationers and locals from the city on Lake Maggiore, virtually 1,400 metres above sea degree to the highest of the Mottarone mountain in 20 minutes.

“We’re devastated, in ache,” Marcella Severino, Stresa’s mayor advised broadcaster RAI, whereas Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi voiced his condolences to the households of the victims.

The cable automobile was travelling up the mountain when the cabin fell some 20 metres to the bottom and rolled a number of instances down the steep slopes earlier than it was stopped by bushes, Severino stated.

Folks mountaineering close by heard a loud hiss simply earlier than the crash, she stated, including that the accident was believed to have been brought on by one of many cables breaking.

Italy’s alpine rescue service stated a name had first come simply after noon (1000 GMT), including that the cable automobile was mendacity “crumpled” within the woods and two youngsters have been taken by helicopter to a paediatric hospital within the close by metropolis of Turin.

Severino stated that among the victims had been discovered trapped contained in the automobile, with others thrown out into the woods.

Coroners had began figuring out the victims, who included overseas nationals, she stated, with out giving additional particulars.

The eldest of the 2 youngsters taken to hospital, who was believed to be between 9 and 10, died after struggling two cardiac arrests, the hospital stated.

Director Basic Giovanni La Valle stated the hospital didn’t have private knowledge for the 2 youngsters and that no one had been in touch with the hospital for them, indicating that different relations might have been concerned within the accident.

The youngest baby, estimated to be 5 years outdated, was aware upon his arrival on the hospital and spoke Italian. He was present process surgical procedure to stabilise a number of fractures.

La Valle stated one other individual, who was beforehand thought to have been injured, had not actually been taken to hospital.

‘HARD TO BELIEVE’

The Stresa-Mottarone raise had solely just lately re-opened following the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

“It is a horrible second for me and for our group and I feel additionally for the entire of Italy. Particularly now that we have been simply starting to restart (after the pandemic),” Severino stated.

The Mottarone peak is in style amongst vacationers due to its panoramic views on Lake Maggiore and its picturesque islands in addition to the vista of the encompassing Alps.

The cable automobile service first opened in August 1970 after virtually three years of works to interchange a cog railway, its web site stated.

The twin cable system is break up into two sections, simply over two kilometres between Stresa and Alpino and one other three kilometres between Alpino and Mottarone. It encompass two automobiles – in alternate instructions – with each carrying as much as 40 passengers, it added.

Severino stated that necessary upkeep works, together with altering the cables, had been carried out in recent times.

“All of that is arduous to imagine,” the mayor stated.



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