Cable car fault leaves 76 passengers dangling

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18 Oct, 2013 Updated Fri 18 Oct 2013 10:20 CEST
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Emergency services rescued 76 passengers from a cable car who were left dangling in the air for hours on Thursday night when Germany’s oldest suspension railway broke down.

An electrical fault left the passengers trapped in the carriage in the western city of Wuppertal.

A metal strip, which conducts electricity, fell off the railway at about 6.30 pm and hurtled onto the main road below, where it struck five cars.

Drivers of the cars which were struck suffered shock but were not injured, while the cable car carrying the passengers ground to a halt.

Witnesses described scenes of panic among passengers in the carriage. According to the Rheinische Post, several passengers collapsed with shock, fearing that their carriage would not hold.

Firefighters used ladders to free the 76 passengers and no injuries were reported.

A spokesperson for the Wuppertal suspension railway said the route would be out of service until the beginning of next week. It is not yet clear what caused the busbar to come loose. Experts will examine the scene over the weekend.

The railway suspension system in Wuppertal has been in operation for more than a century and ferries tens of thousands of people across the city each day. In 1999, five passengers died after the carriage they were travelling in collapsed.

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2013/10/18 10:20

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