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Israelis Killed In Italian Cable Car Disaster Identified, 5-Yr.-Old Is Sole Survivor

The five Israelis killed in a tragic cable car accident in northern Italy on Sunday have been identified, with Israel’s Foreign Ministry releasing the names of the victims on Monday morning.

The victims are Amit Biran, z’l, 30, and Tal Peleg-Biran, z’l, 26, an Israeli couple who were living in Italy, and their two-year-old son Tom, z’l, as well as Tal’s grandparents who were visiting from Israel, Barbara, z’l, 71, and Yitzchak, z’l, 82, Cohen of Tel Aviv.

The couple’s older son Eitan, 5, was critically injured in the accident, sustaining head and spine injuries and multiple leg fractures, and was evacuated to the hospital where he underwent surgery. He is now in intensive care, still in critical condition. He is the sole survivor of the 15 people who were on the cable car.

Aya Biran, Amit’s sister, who also lives in Italy and is sitting by Eitan’s bedside, told Italian media that she found out about the tragedy when she received Whatsapps from friends “sharing in her sorrow.”

“I didn’t know what happened and at first I thought that another rocket fell in Israel. So I called my brother but he didn’t answer and my sister-in-law also didn’t answer. At that moment I knew that something happened and it was confirmed two hours later.”

“We only knew that Eitan was still alive when we saw that his name wasn’t on the list of fatalities. I saw Tal’s grandparents on the list, who came to Italy to visit after receiving their coronavirus vaccines. Yitzhak and Barbara wanted to see the great-grandchildren. Rockets were falling in Israel; they thought, ‘What can happen in Italy?’” Aya said.

Aya and her husband are dealing with all the bureaucracy for her family since they are the only ones who speak Italian. “I’m worried about my parents,” she said. “This is a huge tragedy.”

Aya has lived in Pavia, a city south of Milan, in northern Italy, for 17 years with her husband and two children and that’s also where Amit, z’l, and Tal, z’l,  lived for the last six years. The city is famous for its university and Amit was in medical school and worked as a security guard for the Chabad school in the city. Tal was studying psychology.

Rav Shmuel Chizkiya, a Chabad shaliach and staff member at the school Amit worked at told Reshet Bet on Monday: “Amit was our security guard, I saw him every day. He worked at the school, at the community center, and at the shul. Everyone loved him, he always had a smile on his face. It’s a terrible tragedy. Everyone is in shock.”

Eitan’s name for tefillah is: Eitan Moshe ben Tal b’toch sha’ar cholei Yisrael.

The Israeli Embassy in Rome is assisting the family and working with local authorities to fly the bodies to Israel.

Milo Hasbani, president of the Jewish community in Milan said that the site where the accident occurred only opened recently after it was closed for the past year due to coronavirus restrictions.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

4 Responses

  1. Aya Biran, Amit’s sister, who also lives in Italy and is sitting by Eitan’s bedside She shall probably be getting custody of him.
    He is the sole survivor of the 15 people who were on the cable car. מי יחיה as per ונתנה תוקף

  2. BDE. I better get 25 emails from the chessed fund for this kid. He’s a little baby yid that just lost his whole family. He’s alone and going to be alone for a long time.

  3. Moishe Ooffnik,

    That sarcastic comment seems very out of place here. However; I do think you are very right- in many cases the fundraising seems excessive and sometimes borderline outrageous.

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