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Five Israelis killed in Italy cable car accident named by Foreign Min.

CM 23/05/2021

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Five Israelis, including one child, lost their lives in a cable car accident in northern Italy on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry has confirmed.
A cable car linking Italy’s Lake Maggiore with a nearby mountain plunged 20 meters to the ground, killing at least 14 people.The Foreign Ministry released the names of the victims on Monday morning.
These include Amit Biran and Tal Peleg-Biran, a couple who were living in Italy and their 2-year-old child, Tom, as well as an older couple who were later identified as Tal’s grandparents – Barbara and Itzhak Cohen, who were visiting from Israel. Another son, 5-year-old Eitan, was critically injured and is currently hospitalized in Italy. His aunt is reportedly with him in the hospital. Other family members are expected to fly in in the following few days.The Israeli Embassy in Rome is assisting the family and working with local authorities to fly the bodies to Israel.
“We did all we could, but after a few hours he did not make it,” a doctor from the Regina Margherita Hospital in Turin said.
The young family lived in Pavia, a town renowned for its university, some 35 kilometers south of Milan.
The Stresa-Mottarone cable car takes tourists and locals from the town on Lake Maggiore, almost 1,400 meters above sea level, to the top of Mottarone Mountain in 20 minutes.
“We are devastated, in pain,” Marcella Severino, Stresa’s mayor told broadcaster RAI, while Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi voiced his condolences to the families of the victims.
The cable car was traveling up the mountain when the cabin fell some 20 meters to the ground and rolled several times down the steep slopes before it was stopped by trees, Severino said.
People hiking nearby heard a loud hiss just before the crash, she said, adding that the accident was believed to have been caused by one of the cables breaking.
Italy’s alpine rescue service said a call had first come just after midday, adding that the cable car was lying “crumpled” in the woods and two children were taken by helicopter to a pediatric hospital in the nearby city of Turin.
Severino said that some of the victims had been found trapped inside the car, with others thrown out into the woods.
The Stresa-Mottarone lift had only recently reopened following the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
“It’s a terrible moment for me and for our community, and I think also for the whole of Italy. Especially now that we were just beginning to restart [after the pandemic],” Severino said.
The Mottarone peak is popular among tourists because of its panoramic views on Lake Maggiore and its picturesque islands, as well as the vista of the surrounding Alps.
The cable car service first opened in August 1970 after almost three years of work to replace a cog railway, its website said.
The dual-cable system is split into two sections: just over two kilometers between Stresa and Alpino and another three km. between Alpino and Mottarone. It consists of two cars – in alternate directions – each one carrying up to 40 passengers, it added.
Severino said that important maintenance work, including changing the cables, had been carried out in recent years.
“All of this is hard to believe,” the mayor said.Labor Party chairwoman Merav Michaeli said that she sends “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims, and that “we must make every effort to assist and accompany in these difficult moments.”Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.


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