Italy cable car fall: Three arrested over fatal accident

R&I – FS

Three people have been arrested in Italy over Sunday’s cable car accident that left 14 dead. Investigators say the emergency brakes had been disabled and the three members of the operating company were aware. According to a local transport official, the brake failure meant the car was travelling at over 100km/h (62 mph) when the cable broke. The car plunged 20m (65ft) into the side of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. Prosecutors are carrying out an investigation into suspected involuntary homicide and negligence.

The three suspects have been identified as the owner, director and chief of operations of the company that managed the cable car. AFP reports that local prosecutor Olimpia Bossi told a press conference that the brake had been tampered with in a “conscious act” and suggested the car was unsafe before Sunday’s accident. The prosecutor alleged a fork-like clamp had been placed over the emergency brake, which had been malfunctioning, after repair work on the car was unsuccessful, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “It had been applied to avoid continuous disruptions and blockages of the cable car,” she said, adding that the suspects had believed that the cable would never break. According to the newspaper, investigators had initially believed the clamp had been left in place by mistake.

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