Dozens rescued from Bronx Zoo cable car

July 9, 2008 7:36:54 PM PDT
A sightseeing cable car system at the Bronx Zoo that abruptly shut down and stranded dozens of people high above habitats for baboons and other animals has been fixed. An announcement at the zoo says the Skyfari system is repaired and is working again. The trapped passengers are expected to get off the system at its regular exit platforms.

The cable car system broke down during on its aerial route around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, halting 14 cars. Thirty adults and seven children were stranded, but no injuries were reported.

Firefighters and police used a crane to rescue a family of three from the offline gondola, which swung about 100 feet in the air.

The Skyfari, which passes over the butterfly garden, the baboon reserves and part of the African plains exhibit where lions and gazelles roam, offers visitors a bird's-eye view of the celebrated zoo and its surroundings. Each of its gondolas can hold up to four people.

Zoo officials and rescuers, who were using a crane brought from Queens, said they didn't know why a cable car had become misaligned.

Neighborhood resident Gwen Lawson said she saw the paralyzed cable cars through binoculars from her 22nd-floor apartment window shortly after a thunder and lightning storm.