‘All my fault’: Italian cable car engineer tells court as his boss could face up to 30 years in prison
The Italian cable car boss who, along with two others, is accused of deactivating the braking system that could have saved 14 lives on Sunday, is facing 30 years in prison.
Five-year-old Israeli Eitan Biran, the sole survivor of the crash in the Alps, opened his eyes for the first time on Thursday, but remains in intensive care. His parents, younger brother and great-grandparents were killed in the tragedy.
Luigi Nerini, 56, head of Ferrovie del Mottarone, the company that operates the cable car, was arrested Wednesday along with two colleagues Gabriele Tadini and Enrico Perocchio.
Nerini is awaiting a charge in a cell in Verbania prison, but could face 14 cases of manslaughter, according to the German newspaper, which could put him in prison for up to 30 years. image.
Tadini, a technician, meanwhile told the magistrates on Thursday: ‘It’s all my fault’, The Republic reported and explained that he had intentionally tampered with the brakes to avoid delays after a breakdown.
But researchers say this braking deactivation – which could have stopped the car from flying backwards when the cable broke – was approved by senior colleagues Nerini and Perocchio.
The researchers claim that the two managers were “repeatedly informed and that both Perocchio and Nerini supported this choice.”
The remains of the destroyed cable car will be inspected by officials on Thursday on Mottarone mountain in the Italian Alps.
Luigi Nerini, 56, (left) head of Ferrovie del Mottarone, the firm that operates the cable car, was arrested on Wednesday along with two colleagues Gabriele Tadini and Enrico Perocchio (right)
Amit Biran, 30 (left), his wife Tal, 26 (right), and their two-year-old son Tom were among those killed in the Italian cable car accident. Eldest son Eitan (bottom right), five, is in hospital
The prison where the three suspects are held in Verbania
The coffin containing the body of Serena Cosentino, one of the victims of the cable car accident, arrives on the hearse at Gesu Buon Pastore’s church where the funeral will take place Thursday in Diamante, Cosenza.
A photo of Alessandro Merlo and Silvia Malnati, a young engaged couple who died in the Mottarone cable car tragedy, during their funeral in Varese on Thursday
‘It was a conscious choice, absolutely conscious. That’s it, “prosecutor Olimpia Bossi told reporters.
It was not an occasional omission or forgetfulness. It was a conscious decision to shut down … to deactivate this emergency system to fix what we were told were troubles, technical issues occurring on the line, ‘she added.
Although a maintenance team reportedly arrived on May 3 to address these issues, they remained unresolved, local Carabinieri police officer Alberto Cicognani told Radiotre radio.
“To avoid further disruptions in the shift, they chose to stay in ‘the fork,’ which will prevent the emergency brake from working,” said Cicognani.
He claimed that all three men admitted what had happened.
The device known as the fork had been inserted “ multiple times, ” Bossi said, suggesting the cable car had been unsafe for a while.
“Sunday was certainly not the first day and this has been admitted,” Bossi told reporters.
Five-year-old Eitan is still in a critical condition, but was awake yesterday, “talking to his aunt and looking around,” said a spokesman for the Regina Margherita hospital in Turin.
Clinically, he is still in a critical condition due to his chest and abdominal trauma and the fractures to his limbs.
Alessandro Merlo and Silvia Malnati, 29 and 27, also died in the tragedy. Friends said couple had been engaged for 10 years but planned to get married – prompted by Silvia’s recent college graduation
Angelo Vito Gasparro, 45, wife Roberta Pistolato (left and right together), died when the cable car plunged 65 feet on a trip to the mountains to celebrate Roberta’s 40th birthday
Vittorio Zorloni and Elisabetta Persanini (shown together on the left, and Vittorio on the right) also died in the accident, along with their five-year-old son Mattia. The couple were engaged and would be married next month, Italian media reported
A woman weeps by a white coffin at a ceremony for Biran family members on Wednesday before being returned home
“For the next few days he will be removed from intensive care and transferred to a hospital ward.”
The bodies of his mother, Tal, father, Amit, younger brother Tom, and his great-grandparents were set up at Milan Malpensa Airport on Wednesday prior to their repatriation to Israel.
He had previously been visited by Stresa Mayor Marcella Severino, who has dubbed the crash her town 9/11.
“This is September 11 for Stresa,” the mayor said Wednesday evening when a message from the Pope was passed on by the local priest during a service for the victims.
“ The Holy Father thinks with emotion of so many tragically broken lives … and sends his prayers to the victims and for little Eitan, ” Father Gianluca Villa told the congregation with firefighters, nurses and carabinieri heading to Mottarone Mountain in the Alps after the cable car fell.
Rescuers still found five bodies in the cable car, while the others were littered outside.
Engineers have “ tampered with ” the braking system (circled) on the Italian cable car as part of a failed solution to avoid delays, prosecutors said.
Photo reveals red ‘fork’ that allegedly prevented brakes from working on cab wreckage covered with tarpaulin
Since the cable car reopened after locking on April 26, technicians on the Ferrovie del Mottarone had noticed faults in the braking system (circled)
The cable car hit a pylon, then hit the ground and tumbled about 500 meters off the mountain, before coming to a stop, according to news reports.
Image shows the route of the cable car after the cable broke as the car approached the station at the top of the mountain
The dead included Eitan’s family, including great-grandparents Itshak and Barbara Cohen, 82 and 70; Alessandro Merlo, 29, his fiancé Silvia Malnati, 27; husband Angelo Vito Gasparro, 45, and wife Roberta Pistolato; Vittorio Zorloni, his fiancée Elisabetta Persanini, 38, and the couple’s five-year-old son Mattia; and lovers Serena Cosentino, 27, and Mohammadreza Shahaisavandi, 23.
The first funerals of some of the victims took place in both Italy and Israel on Thursday.
Sunday’s crash was the first fatal cable car incident in Italy since 1998, when a low-flying US military jet cut a cable at a ski resort, killing 20 people.
It came at the beginning of the country’s much-anticipated reopening to tourists after the coronavirus closures.