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14 dead in cable car accident as child dies in hospital after ‘cable snaps’ in northern Italy

AT least 14 people have died - including a child in hospital - after a horrific cable car accident sent tourists crashing down a mountain.

Two seriously injured children aged five and nine were airlifted to hospital where one later died after the gondola fell near the mountain's 4,900ft summit.

Cable cars were closed in Italy during the country's various Covid lockdowns - finally reopening less than a month agoCredit: Reuters

A huge rescue mission was launched following the major incident in Mottarone, northern Italy.

It was initially believed 11 people were inside the gondola - which has capacity for 40 - when it fell.

However, mayor Marcella Severino, who was at the scene this afternoon, says at least 15 were actually inside.

And rescuers have now tragically revised their death toll upwards.

This afternoon, they said nine had died. Now, the toll is believed to be at least 14.

It could rise further, they warned.

"We are devastated, in pain", Ms Severino said: "Thirteen people have been confirmed dead.

"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.

"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.

"The victims have all been identified and it would appear that some are foreign."

Luca Cari, a fire brigade spokesman, said it was still not clear how many people were in the cable car.

"Our teams are still pulling bodies out," he said.

The two youngsters onboard have been taken by air ambulance to a special paediatric hospital in Turin.

The youngest child, a boy, suffered a serious head injury, trauma to his abdomen and breaks to his legs, but was still conscious, Sky Italia reported.

The older child was in a critical condition, newspapers in the region say.

Local media reported one of the children later died at Regina Margherita di Torino died from "very serious injuries".