ROME (AFP) – The five-year-old boy who was the sole survivor of an Italian cable car crash that killed 14 people was moved out of intensive care on Tuesday (June 1), a medical source said.
The boy, named Eitan, lost his parents, younger brother and great-grandparents in the May 24 accident near the top of the Mottarone mountain, in the northwestern Piedmont region.
Eitan was transferred to a regular ward after lunch, a spokesman for the Citta della Salute hospital in Turin told AFP.
The move had been announced a day earlier, when the hospital said the boy was “constantly improving” and recovering from his chest and abdomen injuries.
It added that his aunt was by his bedside. Eitan’s family, originally from Israel, had moved to northern Italy in 2018, according to Italian media.
After the crash, the boy was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition. He spent several days intubated and sedated, and woke up on Thursday.
The accident has shocked Italy.
It killed Eitan’s family and others out on a Sunday excursion to the scenic spot served by the cable car.
The cable car’s pull cable snapped just before it reached destination. It then flew backwards, dislodging itself from a second, supporting cable, and crashed to the ground.
Investigations have revealed that emergency brakes that could have stopped the car on its supporting cable, avoiding the tragedy, had been deactivated.
Three men – the cable car’s chief technician, a technical director and the owner of the cable car operating company – have been arrested but released over the weekend.
The technician, Gabriele Tadini, was put under house arrest after admitting to disabling the brake system because it was malfunctioning, but said his two superiors knew about this.
They have denied this, and were released after a judge found a “total lack of evidence” against them. All three men remain under criminal investigation.