Tonight the various news outlets are reportng on the story that the gondola "Skyfari" ride at the Bronx Zoo was stuck for a number of hours stranding 37 individuals in mid-air reminiscent of the 2006 outage that struck the Roosevelt Island Tram.
The difference from what I read in the NY Times article, pictured above, was this incident involved a wheel of one gondola actually coming off the cable where the Roosevelt Island stoppage was power related and at no time were either of the Tram cabins detached from their cables in any form.
As resident of Roosevelt Island who travels via our Trams almost daily I have to admit when I first started riding them I felt somewhat uneasy during the experience but over the years have grown accustomed to the ride and no longer have any fears. But when I ride the Skyfari ride at the Zoo the old feelings return which I attribute to the small size of their cabins. I can't imagine the feelings that must have gone through those riders this evening as they waited much less for the three family members that were in the affected cabin.
One additional comment is in regard to the following quote from the article:
"Firefighters at the scene said they could not recall a time in the last 15 years when they were called out to the zoo to respond to an emergency on the Skyfari. They added that they do not regularly train to make high-angle rescues on the ride. Firefighters do, however, train to do rescues on another tramlike cable car ride in the zoo that crosses the Bronx River because it hovers over water. "
As resident I feel very comfortable knowing that the FDNY, along with our Tram staff and the local PSD train periodically to deal with tram stoppages and making if needed emergency rescues so visitors and residents alike should take comfort in that knowledge. All I can say for these individuals in "Thank G-d" for Bay Crane.
UPDATE 945 am Thurs. July 10
This morning Greg, oe of Tram operators recounted his learning of the Bronx Zoo stoppage. He was watching TV and saw a news scroll across the screen and saw the words "cable car stuck" and he just waited and breathed a bit easier when he saw it was not on Roosevelt Island. He also clarified for me that the wheels at the Bronx Zoo could not have come off the cables as their system does not operate that way. He indicated theirs is a single cable system. The same cable that pulls the car also carries the car.
The wheels are merely there for the operators do at ski resorts to pull the car around for new passengers to get in the car. Those of you that have taken the Skyfari ride will recall this. Greg is guessing the system stopped when a "brake" finally was tripped open either at the end stations or at the car in question.