3 people admit sabotaging brakes to keep cable car open – Italian media


According to prosecutor Olimpia Bassi, the three, Luigi Nerini, 56, owner of the company that operated the cable car – which is owned by local authorities – service manager Gabriele Tadini, 63, and Enrico Perocchio, 51, engineer, have deliberately decided to deactivate the emergency brakes in order to hide certain malfunctions of the structure that would have prevented its operation.

“Convinced that the cable would never break, they decided to take a risk, which unfortunately resulted in a fatal outcome for the 14 people who were on the Mottarone cable car on Sunday,” Bassi said according to the Italian daily La Stampa . “The scenario that we have reconstructed is serious and disconcerting.”

The defendants “have recognized their responsibilities,” said Colonel Alberto Cicognani, regional commander of the Italian Carabinieri police, further reported La Stampa.

The emergency brake is supposed to prevent a cable car gondola from falling down if the traction cable breaks. Although it is not known how the 3cm-diameter steel cable broke on Sunday, the brakes were deactivated.

“According to our investigations, this was motivated by the need to avoid continuous interruptions of the cable car service,” added Bassi. “Some maintenance work had been done but it had not completely fixed the problems. The system clearly had anomalies and would have required more extensive maintenance work which would have kept the cable car closed. “

The bodies of Amit Biran, 30, his wife Tal Peleg, 27, their two-year-old son Tom and grandparents Barbara Cohen Konisky, 71, and Itshak Cohen, 82, will be flown to Israel on Wednesday afternoon. The other victims included four couples, including an Iranian national, and a five-year-old child.

The only survivor of the tragedy, 5-year-old Eitan Biran, remains in critical conditions at Regina Margherita Hospital in Turin.

Doctors believed that his father Amit could have kissed him and protected him with his body, allowing him to survive. Doctors expressed cautious optimism about the child’s condition and on Tuesday afternoon began the process of reducing sedatives in order to wake him up.

An update on his condition is expected during the day on Wednesday.

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