Three people have been arrested in Italy following a cable car disaster that killed 14 people in the country’s north on Sunday.
Italian newswire service ANSA cited a local public prosecutor in the district who confirmed that investigators had taken three people into custody over the incident, including the cable car’s lead engineer.
Prosecutors said they are investigating why the lead cable of the Stresa funicular snapped while it was bringing sightseers up to the Mottarone peak overlooking Lake Maggiore in Italy’s northern Piedmont region.
They are also investigating why the emergency brake on the supporting cable didn’t engage.
The cabin reeled back down the line until it pulled off, crashed to the ground and rolled over down the mountainside until it came to rest against some trees.
Lead prosecutor Olimpia Bossi said Tuesday that she couldn’t rule out human error, amid suggestions that the brake may have been disabled by a clamp erroneously left in place, perhaps after maintenance work on the car the previous day.
Five-year-old Eitan Biran, an Israeli citizen living in Italy, was the lone survivor.
Francis offered particular thoughts for the boy, whose parents, great-grand parents and little brother were killed.
Eitan was hospitalised in Turin with several broken bones, and Francis said he was “following his case with trepidation.”
Officials at Turin’s Regina Margherita children’s hospital began waking Eitan up from sedation Tuesday after he underwent surgery and an MRI, which showed no brain damage.
An aunt and other family members have been with him at the hospital.