Police in northern Italy have arrested three people over the cable car disaster that killed 14 people at the weekend.
- A clamp that bad been placed on the brake as a patchwork repair effort prevented the brake from engaging when the cable snapped
- Police said three people had admitted to their involvement in the repairs
- The crash killed 14 people. The only survivor, a five-year-old boy, remains in hospital
It came as an investigation showed a clamp placed on the brake as a patchwork repair effort prevented the brake from engaging after a cable snapped.
On Sunday the gondola on a cableway connecting the town of Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, to the nearby Mottarone mountain plunged to the ground, killing all on board apart from a five-year-old boy.
Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into suspected involuntary manslaughter and negligence.
Police said they had arrested the owner of the company that managed the cableway, its director, and the manager of the cableway.
Carabinieri Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Cicognani told Italian state television the three people had admitted to their involvement in the work carried out on the cable car during questioning overnight.
He said the fork-shaped clamp was placed on the brake to prevent it from engaging because it had been braking spontaneously and preventing the cable car from working.
Fourteen people died when a cable car collapsed in Italy’s Piedmont region.
He said the clamp was put on several weeks ago as a temporary fix to prevent further interruptions.
The cable car line went back into service on April 26 after a winter coronavirus-linked shutdown.
On Sunday, the braking mechanism on the wire bearing the weight of the cabin failed to engage and the gondola slid backwards before apparently hitting a pylon and tumbling to earth, where it rolled down the steep slope before hitting trees.
The company that owns the cable car, Ferrovie Mottarone, was not immediately available for comment.
The cable car underwent major maintenance work between 2014 and 2016.
Checks were carried out in 2017 and again last year by specialist technicians.
The five-year-old boy remains in hospital.