Nine people were killed and two children seriously injured after a cable car connecting Italy’s Lake Maggiore to a nearby mountain in the Alps fell to the ground.
The Stresa-Mottarone cable car transports tourists and locals from the town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore, approximately 1,400 meters above sea level, to the summit of Mount Mottarone.
“This is the toll of the accident, as the car was carrying 11 passengers when the disaster occurred,” Simon Bobbio, spokesman for the Italian Alps rescue service for the Piedmont region, told Reuters.
Mr. Bobbio said that the cable car fell near the last second column as it moved up the mountain, adding that there were still no details about the nationality or ages of the victims.
Walter Milan, another spokesperson for the National Alpine Rescue Service, told RaiNews24 TV that two children were taken by helicopter to a children’s hospital in the nearby northern city of Turin.
Milan said the call to rescue services came just after midday local time, adding that the cable car had fallen from a very high point, and that it had now “collapsed” in the woods below.
The Stresa-Mottarone elevator only recently reopened following the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed on the Coronavirus.
Mottarone Peak is popular with tourists for its panoramic views of Lake Maggiore and its picturesque islands as well as the surrounding Alpine scenery.
The cable car service first opened in August 1970 after nearly three years of work to replace a cog railway, and the journey takes 20 minutes, its website states.
The double cable system is divided into two parts, a distance of just over two kilometers between Stresa and Albino and another three kilometers between Albino and Mutaron.
She added that it consists of two cars – in two successive directions – each carrying up to 40 passengers.