Italy: Charges filed for 2021 cable car crash on Lake Maggiore

Charges filed for 2021 cable car crash on Lake Maggiore

Forces of the mountain rescue service work at the scene of the accident in Stresa after the crash. photo

© Piero Cruciatti/LaPresse via ZUMA Press/dpa

14 people died in the accident in the holiday area. Now six people who are allegedly responsible are on trial – they are accused of negligent homicide, among other things.

Shortly before the second anniversary of the cable car crash on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, the public prosecutor’s office brought charges against six people. Prosecutors in the city of Verbania have completed their investigations and are applying for criminal prosecution against those allegedly responsible, as announced on Friday. The accident killed 14 gondola passengers on May 23, 2021 on Monte Mottarone in the northern Italian region of Piedmont; only a young boy from Israel survived.

The investigators have now filed charges against the owner of the cable car operator, the operations manager, the technical director and the CEO and two other employees of the company that built the cable car. They are accused of, among other things, multiple negligent manslaughter, severe negligent bodily harm and endangering road safety. Six other suspects were also investigated, but no charges were brought.

Experts made out two main reasons for the accident: the cable of the gondola was torn because it was brittle and this defect remained undetected due to insufficient maintenance, it said. When the gondola then raced towards the valley after the crack, an automatic braking system should have been activated and the cabin should have stopped. However, this was deliberately blocked with clamps because the cable car had repeatedly failed before the accident due to an automatic brake system that had been triggered by mistake.


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