Pavia (Italy) – The pictures of the shattered cable car cabin on Lake Maggiore went around the world: on Whitsunday, the gondola crashed just before the destination at the mountain station because the guide rope broke. 14 people died, only little Eitan (5) survived the accident. His parents, brother, and great-grandparents died.
The boy was seriously injured in hospital in Turin for two and a half weeks, with an aunt and his grandparents watching over his bed. He has lived with his aunt since his release in June.
But now a heartbreaking custody war has broken out over Eitan’s future whereabouts, reports “The weather”: His maternal grandfather traveled to Italy from Israel to get Eitan to live with him.
An agreement could therefore not be found between the relatives, which is why there will be a custody trial in a court in Pavia in September. Psychologists are said to have asked Eitan on behalf of the Juvenile Court in Turin where he would like to live in the future. His sad answer: “I want to be with mom and dad.”
Eitan was the only one to survive in the gondola, suffering severe head injuries and a broken leg. He was in a coma for many days in Turin Children’s Hospital. Since his release on June 10th, he has lived with his aunt Aya (41), the sister of his slain father, in Pavia. She has children Eitan’s age and has applied for custody of him.
The horror crash
Eitan was sitting in gondola No. 3 with his family, who come from Israel, on May 23, when the lead rope suddenly broke. Shortly before the mountain station on Monte Mottarone, the cabin fell about 15 meters. She rolled over several times, crashed into a tree.
Eitan’s mother Tal B. (26), his father Amit (30), his little brother Tom (2) and his great-grandparents Yitzhak Cohen (81) and Barbara Koninsky (71) died.
Outrageous: The emergency braking system was deliberately overridden with forks in order to ensure a smooth journey of the very fault-prone mountain railway (built in 1970). As a result, the nacelle fell unchecked after the guide rope broke.
Operator Luigi Nerini (56) is said to have known about the manipulation, the charges of manslaughter in 14 cases against him are being prepared. Apparently the manipulation had a system and was practiced for years. This is shown by video recordings from 2014, 2016 and 2018 that are available to ZDF.
Investigations into the cause of the accident are ongoing
Meanwhile, on Tuesday (August 3), work on the drama began on Lake Maggiore at an altitude of 1200 meters. The battered gondola is still about 200 meters below the mountain station, and flutter tapes block off the area in which there is also a piece of the broken rope.
Not only the engineers commissioned by the Verbania public prosecutor’s office gathered in the morning at the valley station in Stresa. The defense lawyers of the three main accused, cable car owner Luigi Nerini, operations manager Gabriele Tadini and engineer Enrico Perocchio as well as the accessory prosecution attorneys have named experts to clarify the still unclear cause of the rope break.
In the meantime, the number of suspects has risen to 12 – the role of the cable car manufacturer Leitner from South Tyrol and other maintenance companies is now being examined by the public prosecutor. According to the daily newspaper “La Repubblica“The black box of the cable car, which has been shut down since the accident, is to be evaluated from September 30th. For the
A hearing of all interested parties in the Verbania court is scheduled for December 16.