A cable car connecting Italian Lake Maggiore to a mountain near the Alps fell to the ground.
A mountain cable car crashed to the ground in northern Italy, killing at least 12 people and sending two children to hospital, authorities said.
The Stresa-Mottarone cable car takes tourists and locals from the famous town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore, almost 1,400 meters above sea level, to the top of Mount Mottarone in 20 minutes.
The infrastructure ministry said in a statement that the crash occurred around 12:30 (10:30 GMT) on Sunday, as the cabin was about 100 meters (328 feet) from the summit.
Rescue crews continued to search the area given possible indications that a 15th person may have been on the cable car, said Walter Milan, a spokesman for the Italian alpine rescue service.
Milan previously told RaiNews24 television that two children had been airlifted to a pediatric hospital in the nearby city of Turin in the north.
Milan said the cable car had fallen from a very high point and was now “wrinkled” in the woods below.
Images from the fire service show remains of the cabin in a wooded area where a steep slope makes access difficult.
The crash could have been caused by a broken cable at the top of the system, ANSA reported.
Mottarone Peak is popular with tourists for its panoramic views of Lake Maggiore and its picturesque islands, as well as the view of the surrounding Alps.
The cable car service first opened in August 1970 after nearly three years of work to replace a rack train, according to its website.
The double cable system is divided into two sections, just over 2 km (1.2 miles) between Stresa and Alpino and another 3 km (1.9 miles) between Alpino and Mottarone.
According to authorities, the cable line had been renewed in 2016 and had only recently reopened after coronavirus blockages forced the closure of ski lifts across Italy.