After the cable car disaster on Lake Maggiore, there were three arrests that night. The Italian media report, citing the public prosecutor’s office.
According to “La Stampa” it is, among other things, the boss and an engineer of the operating company Ferrovie del Mottarone. This was also reported by the Italian news agency Ansa on Wednesday morning. They were brought into custody in Verbania shortly before four o’clock in the morning. According to the reports, it is under investigation for negligent homicide.
Senior prosecutor Olimpia Bossi said: “Photos show that the emergency braking system was apparently tampered with in the sense that the metal fork that blocked the brakes was fixed there. The investigation has so far shown that this was done to prevent repeated interruptions to the cable car. “
Apparently the cable car had malfunctioned in the recent past. Bossi continues: “In order to eliminate these problems, the operators, with the full knowledge of the bosses, did not remove the metal fork. So when the rope broke, the emergency braking system failed. “
Who are the suspects?
One of the temporarily arrested men is said to have “Corriere della Sera“Be Luigi Nerini (56), owner of the company” Ferrovie del Mottarone “, which manages the cable car system. In addition to him, director Gabriele Tardini (63) and the operational head of the service, engineer Enrico Perocchio, are suspected of having manipulated the cable car.
In the police questioning, the men are said to have admitted to having manipulated the brakes. “There were malfunctions in the cable car, a maintenance service was called that did not solve the problem or only partially solved it. In order to avoid further business interruptions, they have decided to attach the ‘fork’ that blocks the emergency brake ”, an investigator told the Italian TV broadcaster“ Rai Tre ”.
Based on the current state of the investigation, the senior prosecutor Olimpia Bossi is convinced that the three suspects had known since April 26 that the gondola was driving with a blocked brake. The alleged motive of the men: greed for money. According to local media, prosecutors believe that those responsible had accepted a possible misfortune in order to continue to earn money with the cable car.
In the accident on Pentecost Sunday, 14 people were killed, only a five-year-old boy survived and is now out of danger. The public prosecutor’s office confiscated the video from a surveillance camera that showed the accident on Tuesday. It can be seen how the gondola was on Sunday shortly before the mountain station on Monte Mottarone west of Lake Maggiore when a rope suddenly broke and the cabin fell downhill, it said.
The cable car, popular with tourists, connects the holiday resort of Stresa, located on Lake Maggiore, with the almost 1500 meter high mountain Mottarone, which offers a spectacular view of Lake Maggiore and the Alps, in 20 minutes. The cable car was closed between 2014 and 2016 for maintenance work.
As “L’Economia” reports, the cable car should have achieved a turnover of up to 1.8 million euros in 2019. Cable cars throughout Italy have only been allowed to transport day trippers again in the wake of the relaxation of the Corona restrictions.