Cable car crash – level 3

28-05-2021 15:00

14 people died and two were seriously injured in an Italian cable car crash on Sunday.

According to local officials and rescuers, the cable car linking Italy’s Lake Maggiore with a nearby mountain in the Alps plunged 20 meters to the ground, and it rolled several times down the steep slopes before it was stopped by trees.

Apparently, when the gondola neared the end of its 20-minute journey, a cable snapped, and an emergency brake failed. The cable car carried tourists and local people from the resort town of Stresa almost 1,400 meters above sea level to the top of Mottarone Mountain. The victims included foreign nationals and two children were transported by helicopter to a hospital in the nearby city of Turin.

The Stresa-Mottarone lift had only recently reopened; however, maintenance and checks had happened regularly, and the cables weren’t due to be replaced until 2029.

Difficult words: gondola (a small cabin for passengers), snap (to break suddenly with a sharp cracking sound), national (a citizen of a particular country).

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