May 23 (UPI) — A cable car fell near a mountain summit in the Piedmont region of northern Italy on Sunday morning, killing at least 14 people and injuring one child, the country’s Alpine rescue service said.
The car fell from its cable at the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore into a wooded area in an inaccessible area. Helicopters lowered rescuers to the crash site.
Authorities believe 15 people were on the car, CNN reported when it broke free about 984 feet from the mountain top, which has an altitude of 4,900 feet. Initially the death toll was nine with two children surviving in a reported group of 11.
“One of the two children transported by helicopter to Turin hospital didn’t make it. It is now sadly 14 the number of people who have lost their lives today,” the National Alpine Speleological Rescue Corps tweeted Sunday evening local time.
The two children, 5 and 9, were the only ones who survived the crash. The younger child, who was conscious, had multiple fractures.
The cable line links Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore to the summit of Mottaron. The ride takes about 20 minutes with a stop at the halfway point.
Walter Milan, spokesman for the Alpine rescue service, said the cables were particularly high off the ground at that point. He said the cable line had been renovated in 2016 and reopened in April after COVID-19 restrictions.
“A terrible tragedy, I have already spoken with the prefect and the director of the Fire Brigade and Civil Protection,” Enrico Giovannini, the minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, said in a report by Sky News. “We are trying to understand what has happened, but it is a truly terrible tragedy,”
A small amusement park at the summit, Alpyland, includes children’s rollercoaster.