A 5-year-old boy survived a cable car disaster that took the lives of his parents and younger brother.
Eitan Biran from Israel was the only one who survived the tragedy that killed 14 people. Among them were his father Amit, 30, his mother Tal, 26, and baby brother Tom, 2, and great grandparents Barbara Koninsky, 71, and Yitzhak Cohen, 81.
“Where are mom and dad?” he asked when he first came round in the hospital.
It is not clear whether Eitan has already been told the heartbreaking news that both his parents, baby brother and great-grandparents are gone.
His aunt Aya, 41, has stayed by his side at the Regine Margherita Children’s Hospital since he arrived.
When he woke up, he told his aunt that he had a sore throat before he asked where he was.
The hospital’s general manager, Giovanni La Valle, told German newspaper BILD: “Sometimes Eitan asks about his parents, but whatever: his aunt is always with him.”
Eitan suffered thoracic and abdominal trauma, along with fractures to his arms and legs, when the tragic incident occurred. He remains in a critical condition.
Marina Bertolotti, his psychologist, said that it is vital to tread carefully at this stage.
“We don’t ask, but we have to be able to respond to his questions,” she said. “To find the right answers, we need to work with his family. If he screams, you have to intervene. But otherwise, we have to first see what his psychological trauma is.”
The bodies of his father, mother, brother and great grandparents were lined up at the Milan Malpensa airport before their repatriation to Israel.
Eitan received several gifts from well-wishers while in the hospital. Three families have offered to adopt him, contacting the Mayor of Stresa Mercella Severino, who visited the boy and labeled the tragic incident her town’s 9/11.
“This is September 11 for Stresa,” she said on Wednesday.
The victims also included Angelo Vito Gasparro, 45, his wife Roberta Pistolato; Alessandro Merlo, 29, and fiancé Silvia Malnati, 27; Serena Cosentino, 27, and boyfriend Mohammadreza Shahaisavandi, 23; Elisabetta Persanini, 38, and fiancé Vittorio Zorloni, and their 5-year-old son Mattia.
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