Italy Cable Car Accident: Broadcast of CCTV footage showing fatal crash sparks backlash

The Italian public broadcaster Rai is facing a backlash after airing a leaked CCTV footage of the fatal cable car crash that killed 14 people.

The clip showed a cabin nearing its final stop before suddenly rearing up, then speeding back down the mountain and crashing to the ground.

The prosecutor in the case spoke of “the absolute inappropriateness” of publishing the footage.

The head of Rai TV said he was “deeply shocked” by the decision to show it.

Five families were on board the car when it crashed, including two children who were among the dead.

Five-year-old Eitan Biran was the sole survivor when the main cable holding the car snapped on 23 May. He lost his parents and two-year-old brother, originally from Israel, and his great grandparents.

Prosecutors say the emergency brake, which could have prevented the accident, had been intentionally disabled. The car reversed at over 100kmph on a support cable, passing a support pylon and then plummeting to the ground and rolling down the mountain.

Prosecutor Olimpia Bossi said in a press release that although the suspects in the case were aware of the videos’ existence, relatives had not been informed and the broadcast of the footage was prohibited.

The suffering of the victims’ families, she said, “cannot and must not be further exacerbated by actions like this”.

The Italian Data Protection Authority has urged media organisations and social media users not to share the clips out of respect to the victims and their relatives, “so that pain does not become a tool for an extra like”.