The Israeli boy critically injured in a cable car crash in northern Italy on Sunday is showing signs of improvement, hospital officials announced Thursday afternoon.
Eitan Biran, the five-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of Sunday’s deadly cable car disaster in the Italian Alps, is now able to communicate, and is speaking with his aunt, who traveled to Turin to be by his side in the hospital.
Officials at Regina Margherita Children's Hospital in Turin said that since Biran regained consciousness on Wednesday, his condition has continued to improve, and he is now able to see his surroundings and to speak with those around him, including his aunt.
He is expected to be transferred out of the hospital’s intensive care ward in the coming days.
Both of Eitan’s parents – Amit and Tal Biran - his two-year-old brother Tom, and his great-grandparents Barbara and Yitzhak Cohen all perished in the accident. Fourteen of the fifteen people onboard the doomed cable car perished in the accident Sunday.
Three people have been arrested in Italy in connection with the accident.
On Tuesday, police arrested the cable car’s engineer, service director, and head of service, on suspicion they “tampered with” the cable car’s safety brake system in order to avoid delays, Olimpia Bossi, a prosecutor in Verbania province told ANSA.
Bossi said that a device which prevents the emergency brakes from operating was installed to avoid stops in service. That device also prevented the emergency system from being activated when a cable snapped, causing the cable car to fall.
Investigators say the cable car operated without functioning brakes since April 26th.
The three suspects taken into custody now face a series of charges, including manslaughter.