Six-year-old child survivor of cable car accident must be returned to Italy, court rules

Eaton Byrne’s parents, brother and two great-grandparents were killed in the accident, sparking an intense and complicated custody battle between his surviving relatives in Italy and Israel.

Biran was living in Pavia, northern Italy, and an Italian judge ruled that guardianship should be given to Biran’s aunt in Italy.

But in September, his maternal grandfather visited Biran in Italy, took him across the border to Switzerland and then took him to Israel on a private jet.

A few days later, Biran’s aunt filed a complaint with the Israeli authorities for the kidnapping of her nephew.

The Family Court in Tel Aviv has now ruled that Biran should be returned to his aunt, rejecting the grandfather’s argument that his actions were lawful and in the best interests of his grandson.

The court rejected the claim that Israel was the minor’s usual place of residence, noting that he had emigrated to Italy when he was two months old. It also said that it is in the interest of the boy to stay in the country.

The court also ruled that the grandfather’s actions were unlawful and violated his aunt’s custody rights.

Eaton Byrne’s family perished when a cable broke during a Stresa-Mottarone cable car ride from the Lido di Stresa piazza on Lake Maggiore to the nearby Mottarone mountain in the Piedmont region.

Officials believe there were 15 passengers in the cable car at the time of the incident. The sole survivor, Biran suffered multiple injuries and required surgery.