174 passengers, including children, rescued from cable car accident after 23 hours in Turkey

Ten people were injured in the accident, which happened late Friday afternoon in the resort city of Antalya when a supporting pylon collapsed

By AFP

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A girl is carried by a member of Gendarmerie Search and Rescue (JAK) team during a rescue operation after a cable car cabin collided with a broken pole, in Antalya, Turkey on Friday. Photo: Reuters
A girl is carried by a member of Gendarmerie Search and Rescue (JAK) team during a rescue operation after a cable car cabin collided with a broken pole, in Antalya, Turkey on Friday. Photo: Reuters

Published: Sat 13 Apr 2024, 8:13 PM

Rescue workers finished evacuating dozens of passengers trapped for 23 hours mid-air Saturday after a cable car accident in southern Turkey that killed one person.

Ten people were injured in the accident, which happened late Friday afternoon in the resort city of Antalya when a supporting pylon collapsed.


One cable car in the Sarisu-Tunektepe system plummeted into a rocky area, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

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A total of 174 passengers, including children, were "successfully" rescued from at least 16 cable cars after a "very dangerous operation", said Okay Memis, the head of Turkey's disaster and emergency management agency Afad.

"This accident occurred following the breakage of a mechanism at the top of a cable car pylon," Memis added.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

The remaining 43 passengers who were suspended in the air were finally freed Saturday afternoon.

Ayse Hatice Polat, a woman in her fifties who had been trapped in a cabin for more than twenty-one hours, kissed the ground as she descended from the helicopter, several local media reported.

Ten helicopters and more than 600 rescuers, including specialist mountaineers, had been at the scene, authorities said.

Members of Turkey's Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) take part in a rescue operation after a cable car cabin collided with a broken pole, in Antalya, Turkey, April 12, 2024. Ihlas News Agency via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY.
Members of Turkey's Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) take part in a rescue operation after a cable car cabin collided with a broken pole, in Antalya, Turkey, April 12, 2024. Ihlas News Agency via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY.

Thirteen people, including managers of the cable car company, faced detention orders as part of an investigation into the causes of the accident, Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said.

"The incident occurred because of inadequate and corroded fastenings at the connection points of the cable car's support towers," Tunc said on X, formerly Twitter, referring to a preliminary report that also pointed to the poor condition of the pulley systems.

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