A cable car operator died on Sunday when the cabin completely detached from its cable while descending a mountain in the Czech Republic’s northwestern region.
Near the city of Liberec, Czech emergency services rescued 15 people who were unharmed from a second cabin used to climb to the top of Jested Mountain.
“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.”
Martin Puta, the regional government’s head, later reported the death of a staff member.
“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 firefighters rescued the tourists from the second cabin, which was 15 meters above the ground. Psychological therapists treated them after the terrifying experience.
The cabin, according to reports, dropped sharply from a height of 30 meters before crumpling against the mountainside.
After being closed in 1933 and rebuilt in the 1970s, the oldest cable car service was reopened in 1975. Although the cause of the accident has been unidentified, news outlets reported that the cable car’s operators, Czech Railways, planned to shut it down for maintenance on Monday.
According to the state news channel, when the first cabin collapsed, the second cabin moved downhill on the well-anchored cable.
On the Jested–Kozakov Ridge, Jested Mountain is the highest point. It offers visitors views of Germany and Poland from nearly 3,300 feet above sea level. In 2009, it hosted a part of the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2009.