Dozens Left Injured and Stranded by Cable Car Accident

( – A cable car system malfunctioned in the mountains of Turkey on Friday, April 12th, killing one person. Several others were injured and more than 170 people were stranded high above the ground for several hours.

On Friday evening a metal pole broke away from the transportation system structure and smashed into one of the cars causing the eight passengers to plummet to the ground below. A 54-year-old Turkish man was killed in the fall. Seven other people were injured, two of whom were children. The accident disabled the gondola system while all 24 cars were in the air, effectively trapping more than 170 people inside their cable cars hanging above the ground.

Ten helicopters, several cranes, and 607 search and rescue personnel assisted in rescuing the passengers from their precarious positions. Rescue teams included personnel from Turkey’s emergency response agency, mountain rescue teams, firefighters, the Coast Guard, and AFAD. More than 130 people were evacuated from the cars overnight Friday night. Rescue operations continued through Saturday morning and afternoon. Some passengers remained stuck in their cars for almost 24 hours before rescuers were able to reach them. The wind in the area made it difficult for the helicopters.

Hatice Polat from Istanbul and her family were rescued after being in the air for seven hours. She described the incident as ‘“traumatizing.” Polat told the Anadolu Agency that her family’s car flipped four or five times after the power went out.

The gondola attraction normally ferries tourists and locals from Konyaalti Beach to a restaurant and scenic overlook platform at Tenektepe Peak. Friday marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan drawing families to the coastal area for celebration and entertainment.

Mayor Muhittin Bocek of Antalya spoke with reporters on the scene confirming that thirteen individuals were taken to the hospital for treatment. Bocek claimed all maintenance on the attraction was up to date.

The incident is being investigated by experts to determine what caused the system to fail.

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