An Italian cable car boss accused of “cutting corners” could be behind bars for 30 years after a terrible accident that killed 14 people.
The sole survivor of the disaster in Stresa, northern Italy, was a five-year-old Israeli boy who remains in hospital and lost his family in the tragedy on Sunday.
The car was traveling at 100 mph before falling to the ground and police believe the brakes were “tampered with”.
Three men have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter while investigations into the crash continue.
Among them is the cable car manager Luigi Nerini, who, according to the German newspaper, could spend decades behind bars if convicted picture.
The 56-year-old and his colleagues Gabriele Tadini and Enrico Perocchio have allegedly admitted to deliberately deactivating the emergency braking system.
Tadini is said to have told the judges in Italy on Thursday, “It’s all my fault,” said Italy la Repubblica Newspaper.
It is believed that instead of costly repairs, the brakes were deactivated to correct a fault.
Attorney General Olimpia Bossi said the three managers face “very heavy” sentences due to the “extraordinary gravity” of the situation.
“It is certainly very serious and very worrying,” he told reporters after the arrests. “With the conviction that the cable car would never break down, [the men] took the risk that determined the fatal outcome. “
Carabinieri Italian Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Cicognani previously said the suspects had admitted that a fork-shaped bracket had been placed on the safety braking system to prevent it from working properly.
The cable car was not working properly and the brakes were constantly on. The clamp prevented them from being activated to allow the cable car to continue.
Five-year-old Eitan Biran was the only survivor when the gondola fell from the town of Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore to nearby Mottarone Mountain.
Eitan’s father, mother, two-year-old brother and great-grandparents were among the dead along with a nine-year-old child and their family.
Investigators said the first probe would investigate how a cable broke and why the safety brake mechanism did not engage.
The cable car underwent extensive maintenance work between 2014 and 2016. The controls were carried out by specialized technicians in 2017 and again last year.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini visited the area on Monday and said the government would set up a commission to investigate Italy’s worst cable car disaster since 1998 – when 20 people died after a low-flying US fighter accidentally severed a support cable.