5 injured in bridge collapse at Swiss Alps kosher hotel


(JTA) – Five people were injured when a walkway bridge collapsed at a kosher hotel in the Swiss Alps.

The accident occurred Tuesday at the Metropol Hotel, a four-star establishment that opened 80 years ago in the town of Arosa, the online edition of the Tachles Jewish weekly reported. The most seriously hurt person was flown to a hospital for treatment with moderate injuries.

The cause of the accident, which happened at the height of the hotel’s summer season, was a rotten support beam, Tachles quoted a spokesman for the police of Graubunden, the Swiss canton where Arosa is located, as saying. Canton prosecutors are investigating the incident.

Owned by an Arosa native, Marcel Levin, and his wife, Lea, the Metropol Hotel was purchased by Marcel Levin’s father in 1949, and he took over its management in the 1970s. Metropol is among the most famous and oldest kosher hotels in the Alpine region, and has been featured in many articles on Switzerland.

In recent years, the hotel has fallen into disrepair as kosher-observing skiers have started to discover new, less expensive ski resorts in Eastern European countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

Hitsch Leu, owner of the restaurant Lamm and Leu, who grew up in Arosa, told the news website 20min.ch that the hotel is “in bad shape; it seems neglected.” He added: “One can see from the outside that for a long time, nothing has been done.”

Other residents spoke of peeling paint and broken neon signs at the hotel.

“It is in a prominent location – right in the center of Arosa – so it’s even more visible,” Leu said.

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