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13 killed after cable car falls in Italy

Thirteen people have been killed and two children seriously injured after a cable car fell on a mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy on Sunday.

The accident happened on a service transporting passengers from the resort town of Stresa up the nearby Mottarone mountain in the region of Piedmont.

Images from the scene show the wreckage lying in a steep wooded area.

Officials said two survivors, aged five and nine, were taken by helicopter to a Turin hospital.

Alpine rescue officials confirmed in a Sunday evening tweet that the final tally of those involved was 13 dead and two injured after the death toll steadily rose in the hours after the accident as the wreckage was searched.

How did the crash happen?

The cause of the incident remains unclear, but local reports suggest the cable carrying the vehicle may have failed about 300m (984ft) from the top of the mountain.

Emergency services say they were alerted just after 12:00 local time (11:00 BST) on Sunday.

Police and fire officials were among those who responded, with rescuers facing a crash site on steep and difficult terrain.

Walter Milan, an alpine rescue spokesman, told television network RaiNews24 that the cable car wreckage was left “crumpled” having fallen from a high height.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi described the crash as a “tragic accident” and said he was receiving updates from the minister of infrastructure and transport, as well as local officials.

“I express the condolences of the whole Government to the families of the victims, with a special thought for the seriously injured children and their families,” he said in a statement.

What do we know about the cable car?

The website for the Stresa-Alpine-Mottarone service said it usually takes 20 minutes to transport passengers 1,491m above sea level.

The cable car originally opened in 1970 and was closed for maintenance between 2014 and 2016.

Mottarone is situated between Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, offering scenic views of the region for tourists.

Each cable car can usually hold about 40 passengers. The service had recently reopened following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

Source: BBC

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