The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Monday morning, May 24, 2021, five Israelis from one family were among 14 people killed in a cable car crash that occurred in Italy.
The only survivor of a tragic cable car collision in Italy that killed 14 people is a 5-year-old youngster Eitan Biran.
The Israeli child survived the disaster in the Alps on Sunday, May 23, but his parents, younger brother, and great grandparents were killed. It is believed that his father, Amit, 30, saved his son’s life by putting his arm around him when the cable car crashed.
According to the Times of Israel, the youngster was riding in the cable car with his parents, Amit Biran, 30, Tal Peleg-Biran, 26, and his 2-year-old brother, Tom Biran.
Peleg-Biran’s grandparents Barbaria Cohen, 71, and Yithak Cohen, 81, had also joined them for the ride, and died at the scene.
According to the Alpine rescue service, the disaster happened in Stresa, a resort town on the shores of Lake Maggiore in the Piedmont region of Italy. Italian media said the cable car is suspected of having fallen 15 meters (50 feet). CNN News reported, it appeared that a cable on the system broke, and the cabin then hit a tower, fell to the ground, and rolled “two or three times before hitting some trees.”
Amit and Tal were from Fabia in the province of Lombardy in northern Italy. Amit studied medicine there and worked as a security guard at a Jewish school in the city. According to Aya Biran, Amit’s sister, Barbara and Yitzhak Cohen chose to visit Amit Biran’s relatives in Italy to get away from the tense security situation in Israel during the recent Hamas wars. On May 19, they flew to Italy to see their niece and great-grandchild.
Other victims included a doctor who had been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was on the ride with her boyfriend, they were celebrating her 40th birthday.
Another couple, Silvia Malnati 27, and Alessandro Merlo, 29, both engaged, were celebrating her recent economics degree, both also were killed.
One young boy aged nine, had survived the crash, only to die later from his injuries in hospital.
Visitors, including Eitan Biran’s family, flocked to the 20-minute cable car journey that connects Stresa with the 1,500-meter (4,900-foot) summit of Mottarone, which offers stunning views of the Alps.
According to the Ministry of Transport, a preliminary review of the maintenance and safety records of the cable line showed that the entire elevator structure was renovated in August 2016 and the maintenance inspection was completed in 2017.
Transport Minister Enrico Giovannini announced the creation of an investigative committee to look into the “technical and organizational causes” of the crash, while prosecutors will focus on possible criminal liability.
“It was a terrible, terrible scene,” Marcella Severino, the mayor of Stresa, told Italy’s SkyTG24.
The crash raises concerns about the quality and safety of Italy’s transport infrastructure.