Eight acquittals were appealed by Austrian prosecutors

Austrian prosecutors opened their appeal Monday against the acquittals of eight people they insist were responsible for the deaths of 155 skiers and snowboarders in a November 2000 alpine cable car fire.

The judges hearing the case in Linz, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Vienna, have the option to confirm the acquittals, change the verdicts or restart the entire trial.

The eight defendants are among 16 people who were acquitted in February 2004 on charges of criminal negligence in the fire, Austria's deadliest peacetime disaster.

They include two employees of Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG, which operated the cable car; two employees of the company that manufactured the car; two technicians; and two government officials, reports the AP.

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