174 Rescued From Cable Cars

One person was killed when a pod hit a pole and passengers fell out in Turkey
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 13, 2024 12:10 PM CDT
Turkey Saves 174 in Cable Cars
A severely damaged cabin of a cable car transportation system is seen outside Antalya, southern Turkey, on Friday.   (Dia Images via AP)

The last of 174 people stranded in cable cars high above a mountain in southern Turkey were brought to safety Saturday, nearly 23 hours after one pod hit a pole and burst open, killing one person and injuring seven when they plummeted to the rocks below. Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced the successful completion of the rescue operation on X. A total of 607 search and rescue personnel and 10 helicopters were involved, including teams from Turkey's emergency response agency, the Coast Guard, firefighting teams, and mountain rescue teams, officials said. Helicopters with night-vision capabilities had continued rescuing people throughout the night, the AP reports.

The stranded people had been stuck on the Tunektepe cable car, just outside the Mediterranean city of Antalya, since 5:30pm Friday, when the accident occurred. Istanbul resident Hatice Polat and her family were rescued after seven hours. Speaking to the Anadolu agency, she said that the power went out and that the pod flipped four or five times. "The night was awful, we were very scared. There were children with us, they passed out," she said. "It was torture being up there for seven hours. It is swaying every second, you're constantly in fear." State-run Anadolu Agency identified the person killed as a 54-year-old Turkish man. Those injured included two children; six are Turkish citizens and one a Kyrgyz national.

They were all rescued by Coast Guard helicopters soon after the crash and taken for treatment, per the AP. Images in Turkish media showed the battered car swaying from dislodged cables on the side of the rocky mountain as medics tended the wounded. The cable car carries tourists from Konyaalti beach to a restaurant and viewing platform at the summit of the 2,010-foot 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. "I don't know how we'll get over this trauma," Polat said.

(More Turkey stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.