Eitan Biran, Lone Survivor of Italian Cable Car Crash, Is Subject of Custody Battle

ROME — Eitan Biran, the only real survivor of a cable automotive crash in May that killed 14 folks together with his dad and mom, has develop into the topic of a bitter custody dispute, after his paternal family members in Italy accused his maternal grandfather of flying the boy to Israel over the weekend with out their consent.

Eitan’s dad and mom, a youthful sibling and two great-grandparents visiting from Israel died on May 23, when a cable snapped because the automotive was arriving at its vacation spot on a peak overlooking the Lago Maggiore in Piedmont. The automotive abruptly slid backward earlier than plunging right into a mountainside. Eitan, 6, was the only real survivor.

The household drama, which has gripped Italy and is enjoying out publicly throughout the Italian and worldwide media, is simply half of the fallout from the catastrophe, which struck a small lakeside neighborhood that noticed its financial system devastated through the pandemic.

Several folks, together with the operator of the cable automotive and the proprietor of the corporate that managed it, are underneath investigation however haven’t been formally charged.

Aya Biran, the boy’s aunt, was granted custody of the kid by an Italian court docket in Turin in May, whereas he was nonetheless within the hospital with essential accidents. Though he has improved, he nonetheless wants medical care, each bodily and psychological, in accordance with Ms. Biran’s lawyer, Armando Simbari.

But the household of the boy’s paternal family members took concern with the custody determination, and in August his grandfather, Schmulik Peleg, employed attorneys to formally problem it, stated Paolo Sevesi, one of the attorneys.

Also in August, a civil court docket dominated that the boy couldn’t depart Italy until he was with Ms. Biran, in accordance with Mr. Simbari.

Mr. Simbari stated he couldn’t touch upon how the boy was taken to Israel, as a result of of the continued investigation But he accused Mr. Peleg of taking benefit of his visiting rights to “de facto organize an international abduction of a minor.”

The mountainside in Piedmont the place a cable automotive crashed to the bottom in May, killing 14 folks.Credit…Alessandro Di Marco/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

The aunt filed a grievance with the prosecutors workplace, and on Monday Mr. Peleg was positioned underneath investigation for kidnapping, Mr. Sevesi stated, confirming Italian media reviews.

The prosecutor didn’t reply to requests for remark, and Mr. Peleg couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

Mr. Simbari, the aunt’s lawyer, stated Eitan had lived in Italy since he was a 12 months outdated and had each Italian and Israeli citizenship. The boy’s mom tongue was Italian, he stated, although he additionally spoke Hebrew.

“We are very worried because this child was torn away from a familiar environment, so it’s a second trauma after the one he experienced in May,” Mr. Simbari stated.

Jonathan Shamir contributed reporting from Tel Aviv.