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Cars and TransportationCzech Republic

One dead in Czech cable car accident

October 31, 2021

One person died after a Czech cable car cabin detached from its cable. Rescuers were able to rescue 15 people from a second cabin.

Rescuers work on a scene of a fallen funicular cab under the Jested Mountain in Liberec, Czech Republic
The operator of a crushed cable car died after the cabin detached from its cableImage: Radek Petrasek/CTK/dpa/picture alliance

An operator of a cable car died when the cabin disengaged from its cable while descending a mountain in the north of the Czech Republic on Sunday, a rescue service spokesperson said.

Czech emergency services evacuated 15 people unharmed from a second cabin used to climb to the top of 1,000-meter (3,300-foot) Jested Mountain near the city of Liberec.

What do we know so far?

"One cabin fell while on its way down," rescue services spokesman Michael Georgiev told Czech television. "There was one person inside, who unfortunately succumbed to their injuries."

Rescuers work on a scene of a fallen funicular cab under the Jested Mountain in Liberec, Czech Republic
Rescuers attend to the scene of the fallen cable car on Jested MountainImage: Radek Petrasek/CTK/dpa/picture alliance

The death was later reported to be a staff member by Martin Puta, head of the regional government.

"Fortunately, the other cabin stayed in its normal place. Some 15 people were evacuated. They should be without injuries, just suffered mental shock," Georgiev added.

The fire brigade rescued the tourists from the second cabin, which was located at 15 meters above the ground. Psychological counsellors treated them for shock after the ordeal.

TV station CT online reported that the cabin fell from a height of 30 meters before crumpling onto the side of the mountain.

What went wrong with the cable car?

The cause of the accident was unclear, but the CTK Czech news agency said the cable car operators, Czech Railways, were going close the cable car down for maintenance on Monday.

Czech TV station CT24 said that when the first cabin crashed down it caused the second cabin to move downhill on the well anchored cable.

Opened in 1933 and reconstructed in the 1970s, the cable car service was reopened in 1975.

Jested Mountain is the highest peak of the Jested–Kozakov Ridge, offering visitors views to Germany and Poland. It hosted an element of the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2009.

jc/sms (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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