Israeli Survivor of Italian Cable Car Crash Leaves Intensive Care

A member of the local Jewish community attends the funeral service for the Biran family in Verbania Hospital, in Verbania, Italy, Wednesday, May 26, 2021.(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Five year-old Eitan Biran, the only survivor of a cable car crash that killed fourteen in Italy, has recovered enough to be moved from intensive care to a regular ward in the Citta della Salute hospital.

He has been “constantly improving” since the tragic accident, a hospital spokesperson told Italian news outlet The Local. Doctors said they were shocked the boy survived his serious injuries.

His aunt Aya Biran flew in from Israel to be by his side as he recovered from chest and abdomen injuries; the Biran family has moved from Israel to Italy in 2018.

Eitan lost his two year-old brother Tom, parents, and great-grandparents when the cable car they were in lost control and crashed into the ground in Stresa, northern Italy. Nine other people were killed.

An investigation revealed the car’s emergency brakes were not working. The cable car’s technician, the mechanical chief and the owner of the cable car operating company were arrested but a judge has since ruled technician Gabriele Tadini was responsible for the accident for knowingly disabling the brake.

The parents, Amit Biran and Tal Peleg-Biran, were studying medicine in Fabia, Italy. Peleg-Biran’s grandparents, Barbara and Yitzhak Cohen, were visiting their granddaughter and great-grandchildren.

The bodies of the five members of the Biran family were flown to Israel after a levayah organized by the local Jewish community in Stresa.

To help Eitan recover emotionally, he is surrounded by relatives and the doctor has brought child psychologists to be there when he is ready.


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