Survivor of cable car crash suffers from amnesia: report

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The 5-year-old Israeli boy who was the sole survivor of the cable car disaster in northern Italy that killed 14 people, including his family, reportedly has no recollection of the tragedy.

Eitan Biran, made it out alive when the cable car plunged 20 feet into the side of a mountain near Lake Maggiore last week, but his parents, 2-year-old brother and great-grandparents perished.

The boy is suffering from post-traumatic amnesia, according to the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Serra.

“He remembers nothing of the terrible accident, but all the tests have ruled out neurological damage,” according to a translation from the news outlet.

Eitan was expected to soon be moved from intensive care at the Regina Margherita children’s hospital in Turin, the newspaper added.

Cable car crash Italy
Fourteen people were killed when the cable car plunged 20 feet and overturned and hit some trees.
AP

“Eitan’s conditions are significantly improving both from the point of view of thoracic trauma and from the point of view of abdominal trauma,” according to a statement released by doctors.

He was saved by the embrace of his father, Amit, 30, who died when the gondola crashed to the ground, a hospital spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.

On Saturday, Eitan woke up and asked, “Where’s Mom and Dad?”

Eitan cable car crash
Eitan (bottom right) lost his immediate family in the crash, as well as his great-grandparents.
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Amit and his wife, Tal Peleg-Biran, 26, as well as their son Tom have all been buried in Israel.

The boy began eating “soft and light foods” on Monday, Corriere della Serra reported.

Italian authorities arrested three men — Luigi Nerini, 56, Gabriele Tadini, 63, and Enrico Perocchio, 51 — connected to Ferrovie Mottarone, the company that manages the cableway, saying the emergency brakes had been deactivated.

Tadini, the director of the service, admitted that he had deactivated the emergency brake system to allow the cable car to continue to operate despite some malfunctions, the Jerusalem Post reported.

He accused company owner Nerini and Perocchio, an engineer, of supporting his decision to avoid shutting down the service for more extensive maintenance, according to the outlet.

But Nerini and Perocchio were released from custody Sunday after a judge partially rejected the preliminary conclusions of the investigators.

Italy cable car crash
The coffin with the body of Serena Cosentino, one of the cable car accident victims, arrives on the hearse at the church of Gesu Buon Pastore in Diamante, Cosenza, Italy ahead of her funeral.
FRANCESCO ARENA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The judge cited a complete lack of evidence against them apart from Tadini’s allegations, the Jerusalem Post reported. Tadini has been released to house arrest, according to the outlet.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the Biran family will hire an Italian lawyer to represent them at a trial.

“We will come to Italy to ask for justice,” said Gali Peleg, Tal’s sister, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing the daily La Stampa.

Eitan's parents Amit Biran and his wife Tal Peleg-Biran died in the crash.
Eitan’s parents, Amit Biran and his wife, Tal Peleg-Biran, died in the crash.
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“They tried to save money and destroyed entire families,” she added.

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