THIS is the haunting final photograph of an little Israeli boy who woke from a coma to find his parents had died in a horror cable car crash.
Eitan Biran, 5, lost five members of his family when the carriage, travelling at 100mph, was catapulted 54 metres and plummeted to the ground in Stresa, Northern Italy, on Sunday.
The crash killed 14 people, including Eitan's parents Amit Biran, 30, and Tal Peleg-Biran, 26, and his two-year-old brother Tom.
Tal's grandparents Barbara, 71, and Yitzhak Cohen, 81, who were visiting from Israel, also sadly died in the crash.
The youngster was pictured just moments before tragedy struck staring out of the window with his great-grandfather.
Eitan, who was the the sole survivor of the crash, is beginning to wake up in hospital after he was placed in a coma with head injuries and a broken leg.
Tragically, the youngster asked "where's mummy" as he woke up in hospital in Turin.
An aunt who was not in the cable car is currently at his bedside at the hospital.
The family, originally from Israel, lived in northern Italy where Amit worked at a clinic in Pavia, after studying medicine in the city, and his psychology graduate wife looked after their sons.
Speaking to Corriere della Serra, neighbours described them as a "wonderful family, with a life ahead".
Members of the Jewish community attended a prayer ceremony for the victims at Verbania Hospital this morning, before the bodies were released to their families.
A heartbreaking picture showed the tiny white coffin of Eitan's two-year-old brother being carried out of the morgue by two men.
Roberta Pistolato, a doctor working on the frontline of Italy's battle against Covid, also died in the tragedy as she celebrated her 40th birthday with her boyfriend Angelo Gasparro, 45.
And Vittorio Zorloni, 55, and his 37-year-old partner Elisabetta Personini were killed along with and their five-year-old son Mattia.
The accident also claimed the lives of Serena Cosetino, 27, a scientific researcher, and her 30-year-old boyfriend Mohammed Reza Shahisavandi, an Iranian student, who also worked in a bar in Rome.
Engaged couple Silvia Malnati 27, and Alessandro Merlo, 29, were also killed.
And three people have now been arrested on suspicion of aggravated manslaughter and two other offences related to the incident, Italian media reports.
The suspects are owner of the company that manages the cable car Luigi Nerini, 56, and director of the company, Gabriele Tadini.
Chief operating officer Enrico Perocchio was also arrested as the three men were quizzed overnight.
The prosecutor said the men were "materially aware" the cabin had been travelling without brakes since it reopened on April 26 after lockdown.
Investigators also said the emergency braking system had been "tampered with" instead of the costly "radical intervention" it required to fix the problem.
It comes after investigators launched a probe into how the lead cable snapped and why the safety brake mechanism failed to activate.
According to initial reports, the cable pulling the cabin up the steep slope broke as it reached the end of its 20 minute journey.
The emergency braking system then failed to kick in – causing the cabin to slide backwards before hitting a pylon and crashing to the ground.
On Tuesday, lead prosecutor Olimpia Bossi said she couldn't rule out human error.
It comes amid suggestions the brake may have been disabled by a clamp accidentally left in place – perhaps after maintenance work on the car the previous day.
Today, the mayor of the hometown of one of the victims, Serena Cosentino, announced that the city would pursue legal action against those responsible.
"The news, unfortunately, is showing a broad picture of responsibility and omissive guilt," Mayor Ernesto Magorno said in a statement.
Most of the 14 victims died instantly at the scene as horrific photos emerged of the wreckage.
The crash is Italy's worst cable car disaster since 1998 when 20 people were killed after a warplane accidentally severed a supporting cable.
Checks had been carried out in 2017 and last year by specialist technicians after previously undergoing major maintenance work.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini said on Monday: "The government, as well all the institutions, are naturally committed to understanding the causes, to understanding what happened."
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