Published: 01st June 2021
Meet this five-year-old Italian boy, the sole survivor of a cable crash. He left the ICU today
It is not known what caused the cable to snap, but the emergency brake should have been automatically activated to prevent such a tragedy
A five-year-old boy, who is the sole survivor of last week's Italian cable car accident, is set to leave the intensive care unit on Tuesday, according to hospital officials. The hospital on Monday said the boy's injuries, primarily to his chest and abdomen, were healing and he continues to be accompanied by his aunt while under medical care.
Fourteen people died on May 23 when a gondola on a cable car line crashed to the ground while ascending from Stresa, Italy, to Mount Mottarone. The victims included the boy's parents and his sibling. The cause of the accident remains unclear, though prosecutors have alleged that operators used a temporary fix to keep the system running when it should have been shut down for more thorough maintenance.
According to initial findings, a clamp had been used to disable the emergency brake system, which had been malfunctioning. Investigators believe this could have been the cause of the disaster. A technician employed by the company in charge of the cable car line said in an interview that he had no idea clamps had been used on the gondolas.
Enrico Perocchio, in an interview with the newspaper La Stampa published on Monday, said he was not aware of the operational workaround. "If I had known about it, I would not have supported this decision," said Perocchio, who served as the technical director of the line that connects the town of Stresa with the 1,500-metre-high Mount Mottarone, west of Lake Maggiore.
Perocchio told the newspaper it was a mistake to use the clamps to overcome a temporary problem. He said the emergency brake issues could have been fixed with the suspension of operations for just a day or two. Clamps were supposed to only be used for maintenance purposes, but never during regular operations, according to Leitner, a company contracted for the maintenance of the cable car line. Three men including Perocchio, were detained after the accident, but the magistrate in Verbania ordered two of them to be released, with Perocchio one of them.
A third is under house arrest, according to reports. The evidence so far indicates that a cable broke shortly before the gondola arrived at the mountain station. It is not known what caused the cable to snap, but the emergency brake should have been automatically activated to prevent such a tragedy.