Cable car accident in Antalya, Türkiye, passengers fall down the mountain

Cable car accident in Antalya, Türkiye, passengers fall down the mountain

A cable car carrying passengers collapsed in a mountainous area in southern Turkey after colliding with part of the metal structure supporting it on Friday, sending its eight terrified passengers falling onto the rocky hills below.

One passenger was killed, seven were injured, and nearly 200 others were trapped in other cabins in the air, some during the night and then for more hours into Saturday afternoon, while rescuers worked to free them from the crippled line.

The Turkish Interior Minister said that helicopters, cranes and hundreds of rescuers were deployed in the area to evacuate 174 people. Officials said those affected included children, local residents and foreign tourists stranded in cabins, some dozens of meters above the ground in the Sarisu district of Antalya province.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced on social media that 13 people were taken to hospital for treatment.

Cable cars usually transport passengers to a high point atop the steep, tree-covered mountain that offers sweeping views of the hills, the city of Antalya, and the Mediterranean Sea. Friday was probably a particularly busy evening for tourism there; The weekend began with Muslims celebrating Eid, a multi-day holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

At around 6pm local time on Friday, a pole that was part of the system broke and hit one of the cabins, crushing the cabin and dropping the eight occupants onto the rocky ground when the floor they were standing on suddenly fell. The news agency reported.

Demiroren said that one of the passengers who fell from the damaged cable car, a 54-year-old man, died at the scene and seven others were injured. Antalya Mayor Muhittin Busik told reporters at the scene that at least three other people were injured during the rescue operation.

Pictures from the site showed the broken car, without its floor and shattered windows, hanging above the ground in the evening twilight. Other cabins – many with shaking passengers still inside – stretched before and behind them on the line’s long cables, hanging like little orange fruits from a vine above the rocks and trees below.

High cranes rose near some of the cars, extending to reach them. In other cases, emergency personnel wearing climbing helmets climbed ropes to help trapped passengers. Metal baskets were used to transport the wounded by helicopter.

In one case, a female passenger wearing high-heeled sandals and carrying a small child strapped to her chest was evacuated and slowly lowered to the ground. A rescuer sat on the cable car while it was evacuated, while other passengers were waiting for their turn inside.

Rescuers managed to do so 137 people evacuated Overnight and into Saturday morning, officials said they finally completed the operation Saturday afternoon — almost a full day after the accident stopped cars on the line in place.

At midday, passengers in five cabins were still waiting to be evacuated, in what had become a methodical and dangerous mission.

“There is volatile air flow and there are winds,” Ok Memiş, head of Turkey’s emergency agency, said in televised comments, adding that this made it difficult for helicopters to fly to work near the site. “Rescue work is taking place in a steep area.”

Mr. Mimis said officials on the ground were in constant contact with the stranded passengers.

The Turkish Minister of Justice said that the Public Prosecution has begun an investigation into the incident, and experts have been appointed to determine the underlying cause and any responsibility.

All 24 cabins of the cable car line were in the air when the accident occurred. Several small cars, each seating eight people, were carrying adults and children. Opened in 2017, the line starts near the picnic area and provides direct access to the viewing platform, shops and café at the top.

Mayor Butcek, whose municipality runs the cable line, said in televised remarks that the weekly and monthly maintenance of the cable line had been completed.

Deniz Yavuzilmaz, an official in the political party to which Bocek belongs, said that the last annual maintenance work was carried out between February 19 and March 4 of this year.

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