A 5-year-old Israeli boy is the sole survivor of a horrific cable car crash in Italy that killed 14 passengers, including his parents and younger brother, officials said Monday.
Eitan Biran was recovering Monday at a hospital in Turin from serious injuries suffered when the cable car plummeted to the ground on its way to Mottarone mountain in the Alps, the Times of Israel reported.
The boy had been riding in the cable car with his parents, Amit Biran, 30, and Tal Peleg-Biran, 26, as well as his 2-year-old brother, Tom Biran, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said.
Peleg-Biran’s grandparents, Barbaria Cohen, 71, and Yithak Cohen, 81, had also joined them and died at the scene, officials said.
The Israeli embassy in Rome said it’s working with the family to send the bodies home, the outlet reported.
The family had been living in the city of Fabia in northern Italy, where Eitan’s father studied medicine and worked as a security guard in a Jewish school, the outlet reported.
“I know the father well, I spoke to him last Friday. He told me he decided to go for a trip with the children and with the grandparents who came from Israel,” Milo Hatzbani, president of the Milan Jewish community, told Israel’s Army Radio.
The grandparents had come to visit the family from Tel Aviv to escape the deadly conflict last week between Israel and Hamas.
“Yitzhak and Barbara wanted to see the great-grandchildren. Rockets were falling in Israel; they thought, ‘What can happen in Italy?’” the boy’s aunt, Aya Biran, told the outlet.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but it appears that a cable on the system broke before the car hit a pylon, Stresa Mayor Marcella Severino said.
“It was a terrible, terrible scene,” she told Italy’s SkyTG24.
The other victims include a 9-year-old boy, as well as a doctor, Roberta Pistolato, 40, and her boyfriend, Angelo Gasparro, 45, MetroUK reported.
An engaged couple, Silvia Malnati 27, and Alessandro Merlo, 29, were also among those killed in the crash, the outlet reported.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi offered his condolences over the “tragic accident.”
“I express the condolences of the whole Government to the families of the victims, with special thought for the seriously injured children and their families,” he said in a statement.
With Post wires