At least 12 dead after Italian cable car fall near Lake Maggiore

At least 12 people have died after a cable car fell on a mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy on Sunday, according to emergency officials.

The accident happened on a service transporting passengers from the resort town of Stresa up the nearby Mottarone mountain in the region of Piedmont. Images from the scene show the wreckage lying in a steep wooded area.

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Officials said two children, aged five and nine, were taken from the scene by helicopter to a Turin hospital.

In a tweet confirming the latest death toll, alpine rescue officials warned the total number of victims may still rise further.

Local media reports that a number of services, including police and fire officials, remain at the scene.

Emergency services say they were alerted to the crash just after 12:00 local time (11:00 BST) on Sunday.

Walter Milan, an alpine rescue spokesman, earlier told RaiNews24 television that the cable car was left “crumpled” after falling from a high height.

The cause of the incident remains unclear, but local reports suggest the cable carrying it may have failed about 300m (984ft) from the top of the mountain.

The website for the Stresa-Alpine-Mottarone cable car said it usually takes 20 minutes to transport passengers 1,491m above sea level.

The service originally opened in 1970 and was closed for maintenance between 2014 and 2016.

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