Italy cable car victim text sister ‘we’re getting on’ before disaster killed 14

A tragic victim of the horror Italy cable car accident sent her sister a chilling final message saying 'we're getting on' before the cable snapped.

Doctor Roberta Pistolato, 40, a doctor working on Italy's frontline battle against Covid-19, was among the 14 who died along with her boyfriend Angelo Gasparro, 45.

The accident happened in Mottarone, a mountain in north-west Italy, near Lake Maggiore. The car plunged 20 metres to the ground.

Shortly before the horror unfolded on Sunday, Ms Pistolato texted her sister: "We're getting on the cable car."

Among the dead were five members of a family originally from Israel.

Amit Biran, 30, and his 26-year-old wife Tal Peleg-Biran died along with their two-year-old son Tom Biran, who lived in northern Italy.

Grandparents Barbara and Yitzhak Cohen of Israeli city Tel Aviv, who were aged 71 and 81, also died.

Amit and Tal's other son, five-year-old Eitan, survived the accident and is being treated in hospital in Turin. He is the only survivor of the tragedy.

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He remains in a serious condition with injuries to his head, legs and chest.

Amit's sister and her husband Nirko, who live in the Pavia area, told Corriere della Serra: "We heard the news, and we immediately started to read what had happened.

"We knew that Amit and his family had gone there, but we didn't think we would see their names among the victims of this tragedy.

  • Two kids among 14 dead after cable car crashed to ground on Italian mountain

"We are shocked and pray that little Eitan can survive and come back to us."

Engaged couple Silvia Malnati, 27, and 29-year-old Alessandro Merlo, were killed, along with a nine-year-old boy who died after being airlifted to a hospital in Turin.

Vittorio Zorloni, 55, and his 37-year-old partner Elisabetta Personini were killed along with and their five-year-old son Mattia.

The couple, who were due to get married next month, were killed instantly when the car hit the ground and their son died in hospital in Turin.

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The area's mayor Marcella Severino says it's believed the disaster was caused by a snapped cable, although the cause is under investigation.

He added: "Some were killed inside, while others were thrown from the car. It appears the cable gave way, and walkers saw it happen.

"They heard a loud bang and saw the cable car just before the summit and then it accelerated backwards, struck a support pillar and fell.

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"Where it hit the ground is a remote spot, it's on the edge of some woods, and the witnesses said it rolled three times before stopping against some trees.

"We are devastated, in pain."

A witness told MailOnline: "It was a very steep drop, so the cable car tumbled for a while before stopping against some trees.

"The police are at the scene of the incident and are trying to identify the people. It is a devastating morning for all of us."

The cable car line closed in 2014 for a €4.4 million (£3.79 million) renovation, reopening in 2016.

It was shut down due to the coronavirus lockdown, which forced the closures of ski lifts across Italy, opening again a month ago on April 24.

The service first began running in August 1970 and the journey for the Stresa-Alpine-Mottarone service takes 20 minutes.

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