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Scary Sky-High Rope Rescue by Firefighters for Cable Car Passengers Stranded at 13,000 Feet on Volcano in Quito, Ecuador.

Photo credit: Amazonas. The cable car in Quito takes passengers up to an altitude of around 13,000 feet in Quito. Passengers were stranded for several hours as various rescue attempts went on.

By Editor-July 8th, 2023.

Dozens of people who were trapped in cable cars on one of the world’s highest funicular rail systems on Mount Pichincha in Quito, Ecuador, knows as the teleferico have been rescued by firemen, according to a statement from government officials Friday.

Firefighters were alerted around 4 p.m. local time Thursday of a technical failure that affected the Quito Cable Car, with at least 70 people trapped, the Quito municipality said in a statement. They launched a rescue effort in the highlands soon after.

“In total, the authorities rescued 27 people who had been suspended in the gondolas when the service was inoperative and 47 people who had been left without transportation on top of the mountain,” the statement said.

After the emergency with 27 people trapped in gondolas, the Quito cable car management company put out a statement of its own, posted on her social networks on Friday afternoon.

“We promise to put all our human, technical and financial effort to regain the confidence of the people of Quito,” says the text. In it there are details of what happened and responds to the questions of delay in the rescue by the firefighters.

The company ensures that they have security protocols and are governed by international organizations. The normal recommendation is  that the people who remain inside the suspended cabins should return to the starting point using the same system.”

That was what the personnel would have tried for more than four hours before calling in the firefighters with ladders and ropes. Each passenger was lowered  from the cable cars with a rope system adapted by the firefighters.

However, the company says that the system was finally restored at 02:30 and a dozen people were able to return to the station in their cable cars. A fleet of 11 vans was hired to bring the remaining 47 people down from the top of the mountain, and none of them were injured in any way.

The company claims to have up-to-date municipal permits and the approval of the Quito Fire Department. It also indicates in the statement that it performs daily maintenance between 06:00 and 09:00 of the entire operations system.

Finally, the company affirms that they have worked for 18 years “without experiencing similar events.” (Although in March a hundred people were trapped at the height of Rucu Pichincha for around three hours.)

The mayor of Quito, Pabel Muñoz, said the rescued people do not show signs of hypothermia or injuries.

He announced that the concession still has “two or three more years” in the hands of the private company that manages the franchise in the scenic capital city.

It was the same company that delayed the rescue of the trapped people. The emergency bodies waited for more than three hours to undertake the extraction, waiting for the administration to resolve the emergency on its own.

He also ordered to suspend the cable cars’ operation until investigations have been carried out.

Sources: CNN, Teleamazonas.