Cable car breakdown in Tenerife leaves 70 tourists trapped overnight

Published on : Thursday, March 16, 2017

tenerifeAs many as 70 tourists were abseiled to safety after two cable cars on Mount Teide that is located in Tenerife had stopped in mid-air. The incident occurred at a height of nearly 250 feet.


This dramatic rescue had taken place yesterday afternoon on the island’s 3,700 metre high volcano.


Park rangers, policemen, firemen and helicopters were called in immediately to assist with a pulley system to get the trapped tourists back on to the ground. They were lowered to safety after a four hour rescue operation. Each one was placed in a harness and then dropped through the hatch of the cable car.


No fatalities were involved and nobody has been hurt.


But then, there were reports of some of the people who required medical treatment as they were traumatized because of shock and altitude sickness. There were 35 people in each of the cable cars that were automatically stopped halfway up the volcano.


The accident had occurred about 2 p.m. this afternoon and it suspended the tourists in mid-air.


It concluded around 7 p.m., just prior to the time it had got too dark. Many of the trapped people were British tourists as Tenerife is a popular destination for the vacationers of the UK. About 200 people were at the top of the cable car, having visited Mount Teide and they were actually waiting to come back down.


Most of them were able to walk away to safety though the terrain was quite rocky.


They included a few elderly holidaymakers and also families with children. There were about 40 and 70 of them.


As many as 50 firefighters freed the people who were trapped utilizing a pulley system from the ground to the cars that had an ‘abseil’ with ropes. The Canary Government had officially activated its emergency plan.


A spokesperson for the cable car operator said that the emergency system had stopped the cable cars right in the midway after it presumed that it had detected a fault or an issue. The exact cause of the breakdown is yet to be known.


Tenerife’s island council said that the rescue had been carried out very smoothly and there was actually no risk involved. A group of psychologists were called in to interact with the tourists who were suffering from trauma.


The base station of Teide Cable Car is located at the foot of the volcano at an altitude of nearly 2,356 metres and the station exceeds 3,555 metres.


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