Dario Prezioso described how he and his six-year-old son were spared the horror cable car accident in Italy when they tried to get on board before the vehicle overturned
A father and his little boy were lucky before the fatal cable car accident that killed 14 people in Italy – but only because it was too crowded for them to board.
Dario Prezioso and his six-year-old son were supposed to be in the elevator, which killed all but one of the 15 passengers when one of the cables broke.
In the horror accident, the vehicle fell 65 feet to the ground before tipping down a mountainside and crashing into trees.
The cable car was carrying passengers between Stresa on Lake Maggiore and Mount Mottarone in the Italian Alps when it crashed. The panoramic trip would not have taken more than 20 minutes.
A five-year-old boy – the only survivor – was flown to the same hospital and is in serious condition after an operation.
Mr Prezioso spoke of a turn of fate that meant that he and his child’s life were spared.
“When I heard the news of the crash, my blood froze – my six-year-old son and I could have participated,” he was quoted as saying Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
He explained how they had tried to get the lift on board, but when it reached maximum capacity the two had decided to wait for the next ride.
Vigili del Fuoco / AFP via Getty I)
Mr Prezioso gave hair-raising details about how he met some of those who were killed while lining up for the elevator together.
“I had decided to take my child to Alpiland, where there is a bobsleigh run – but when we got to the elevator, the cable car that crashed at the end was already full, for a series of miraculous coincidences, so we couldn’t get on.
Vigili del Fuoco / Twitter)
“We were next, so we stopped there to wait for the elevator that we never entered.
“We met the people who were standing in the cable car when we were queuing for tickets and we had exchanged a few words,” he said.
Polizia di Stato / AFP via Getty I)
The cable car was approaching a station on Mottarone Mountain, 4,900 feet high, when it fell.
Stresa Mayor Marcella Severino said the accident was believed to have been caused by a broken cable, although the cause is still being investigated.
Ms. Severino, the mayor of Stresa, told RAI that hikers heard a loud hissing sound shortly after noon before the crash.
Some of the victims were found trapped in the car and others thrown into the woods, she added.
The cable car had only restarted a month ago after the Covid lockdown.
Officials said the cable car system, which first opened in August 1970, has been checked regularly, with the last being last November.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi expressed condolences to the families of the victims and said his thoughts go with the two survivors of the child.