One killed and scores stranded after cable car accident in Turkey

12 April 2024, 22:44

Turkey Cable Car Accident
Turkey Cable Car Accident. Picture: PA

Search and rescue agency AFAD said 49 people had been rescued from the suspended pods, leaving 135 still stranded close to midnight.

One person has been killed and seven injured after a cable car pod hit a pole and burst open in southern Turkey, sending the passengers plummeting to the ground below.

Scores of other people were left stranded late into the night after the entire cable car system came to a standstill.

Two children were among the injured in the accident at the Tunektepe cable car outside the Mediterranean city of Antalya at about 6pm during the busy Eid al-Fitr holiday, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Anadolu identified the dead man as a 54-year-old Turk, and said six Turkish citizens and one Kyrgyz national were injured.

Five of the injured were ferried off the mountain by helicopter and efforts continued to remove the other two injured people, interior minister Ali Yerlikaya said three hours after the accident.

Turkey Eid al-Fitr
People in Turkey have been celebrating Ramadan (Francisco Seco/AP)

The rescue operation involved more than 160 first responders including air crews from the Coast Guard and mountaineering teams from different parts of Turkey, the minister posted on social media site X.

Some 184 other passengers were trapped in 25 other cable car pods dozens of feet above the ground as engineers tried to restart the system, Antalya Mayor Muhittin Bocek said. Helicopters with night vision imaging were heading to the site.

Search and rescue agency AFAD later said 49 people had been rescued from the suspended pods, leaving 135 still stranded close to midnight — about six hours after the accident.

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

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 618m (2,010ft) Tunektepe peak. It is run by Antalya Metropolitan Municipality.

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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