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Fourteen people including a child die in cable car accident in northern Italy

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The wreckage of a cable car is seen on the ground after it collapsed near the summit of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont region, northern Italy, May 23, 2022.
The wreckage of a cable car is seen on the ground after it collapsed near the summit of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont region, northern Italy, May 23, 2022.   -   Copyright  Vigili del Fuoco via AP
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Fourteen people including a child died on Sunday when a cable car fell in Italy's alpine region of Piedmont, emergency services have said.

Two children were seriously injured and airlifted out to Turin but sadly one died in hospital.

The accident took place on the Stresa-Mottarone Cableway, on the banks of Lake Maggiore, some 90 kilometres northwest of Milan.

Pictures of the wreckage shared by emergency services show the cable car crushed on the ground in what appears to be a clearing among pine trees and overlooking the lake.

Italy's ministry of infrastructure said the accident appeared to have been caused by a ruptured cable near the top of the route. The line was renovated in 2016 and had only recently reopened after Covid restrictions.

The cable car takes about 20 minutes to reach its intended destination, at 1,491 metres, which offers a 360-degree view of the scenery. There is also Alpyland, a 1.2-km log bob slide on rails.

"Our plan was to go up Mount Mottarone because the view is beautiful from there. We got on the cable car an hour before the tragedy, everything was fine," explained student Luisa Tesserin.

"It's a cableway on which all the maintenance has been done," said local restaurant owner Angelo Garavaglia. "They've spent a lot of money, they've done a lot of work. I think it was an accident because the system is in good order".

Huge tragedy, dismay and grief

Piedmont regional president Stefano Allasia described the incident as "a huge tragedy" in a Facebook post.

"My thoughts go to the families of the people who lost their lives," he wrote, adding: "In the face of the death of so many lives, we can only be dismayed and grieved."

Stresa city council said on Facebook that it "joins in the pain of the families involved in the Funivia tragedy."

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said he was "deeply saddened" by the "tragic accident. "I express the condolences of the entire government to the families of the victims, with a special thought for the children who were seriously injured and their families."