More than 40 still stranded a day after fatal cable car accident in Turkey

13 April 2024, 10:54

Turkey Cable Car
Turkey Cable Car. Picture: PA

The accident occurred on the Tunektepe cable car, outside the Mediterranean city of Antalya.

More than 40 people remained stranded in cable cars high above a mountain in southern Turkey, the day after one pod hit a post and burst open, killing one person and injuring seven.

The accident occurred at around 5.30pm on Friday on the Tunektepe cable car, just outside the Mediterranean city of Antalya, during the busy Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Operations to rescue the stranded people continued throughout the night.

Turkey Cable Car Accident
A severely damaged pod on the cable car line (Dia Images/AP)

Okay Memis, director of the Turkish search and rescue agency AFAD, told media on Saturday morning that 128 people in 16 pods had been rescued “under difficult conditions”, adding: “The rescue of 43 others in eight remaining pods is ongoing.”

He added that rescuers hope to complete rescue operations before dark.

The casualties occurred when a pod hit a post, sending passengers plummeting to the mountainside below, officials said.

State-run Anadolu Agency identified the dead man as a 54-year-old Turk.

The injured were six Turkish citizens and one Kyrgyz national, including two children. They were rescued by coastguard helicopters.

Images on Turkish media showed the battered pod swaying from dislodged cables on the side of the rocky mountain as medics tended the wounded.

Turkey Cable Car Accident
Rescue and emergency team members work with passengers (Dia Images/AP)

A total of 543 first responders and seven helicopters were involved in the rescue operations, including teams from AFAD, the coastguard, firefighters and mountaineering teams from different parts of Turkey, officials said.

Friday was the final day of a three-day public holiday in Turkey marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which sees families flock to coastal resorts.

The cable car carries tourists from Konyaalti beach to a restaurant and viewing platform at the summit of the 2,010ft Tunektepe peak. It is run by Antalya Metropolitan Municipality.

The cable car line was completed in 2017 and receives a major inspection around the beginning of the year, as well as routine inspections throughout the year.

Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation. An expert commission including mechanical and electrical engineers and health and safety experts was assigned to determine the cause of the incident.

By Press Association

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