New details uncovered from Sunday's tramway failure

Update on Tramway rescue

EL PASO, Texas -      We're learning more about a motor failure that stranded dozens of people at the top of the Wyler Aerial Tramway Sunday night.

     Thirty one people, including six in the tramway gondola itself had to be brought down both sides of south Mt. Franklin just after 6 p.m.

     ABC 7 has learned that it was all because an electrical coil in the motor that moves the tram wore out.

     "It was a pretty good workout, and it was kind of dangerous, but we're here, we're safe," said one man after being brought down the mountain Sunday night.

     Everyone was safely rescued and checked out by medical personnel and thankfully no one was hurt. Twenty-five people were at the top of Ranger Peak, including nine children and three infants.
     Four hiked partway down and were met by search and rescue teams for the rest of the way. The rest were brought down the mountain by truck, after being escorted to a lower peak.

     As for the six people stuck about halfway down in the gondola, it took 7 park staff and emergency crew members wearing gloves, working in shifts, half an hour to manually move the cable wheel at the bottom to move the gondola down to the base.
     Park Superintendent Nathanael Gold said that safety mechanisms stopped the tram as soon as there was a problem, and that the riders were never in any danger.

     "Absolutely not," said Gold. "The cables that we use for the tramway and the gondola design is a very safe and very reliable design. And as far as the cars were from leaving the cable, there was no chance of that happening. And this was all with the motor that was down at the base station."

     Gold also said that the worn out part has been replaced and is being tested   and the tramway should be open again for their regular hours on Friday.

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