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Cable car failure leaves passengers stranded aloft, frightened in Vietnam

Sunday, October 28, 2018, 16:01 GMT+7
Cable car failure leaves passengers stranded aloft, frightened in Vietnam
The Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Multiple riders took fright when Vietnam’s longest cable car abruptly halted, leaving them trapped in mid-air over water for more than an hour on Saturday.

The incident played out at around 3:00 pm on a sweltering afternoon on the Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, located in southwestern Vietnam.

The passengers, including children and elderly people, felt tired and very worried at the time when they were accompanied by no staff member from the cable car operator.

The Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Support towers of the Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Support towers of the Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A rider called an emergency number and received the news that a switch from one electric generator to another had caused the cable car to stall.

He was reassured that the problem would be handled in only five minutes.

But an hour passed without the situation improving, and passengers began making numerous telephone calls for help.

“That was the first time I had taken a cable car ride, but I found myself dangling in mid-air for over one hour without drinking water while the temperature was really scorching,” Nguyen Ngoc Tan, a 62-year-old passenger, recalled.

“I called my family, and they cried because of anxiety.”

Nguyen Huu Tuynh, deputy director of Sun Group, the Hon Thom Cable Car’s developer, said that all stranded passengers eventually came to the terminal safely.

Sun Group extended apologies to the riders and refunded their cable car fares, Tuynh said.

A power glitch prompted the cars to stop, he confirmed.

The Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Hon Thom Cable Car in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A terminal of the Hon Thom Cable Car (red marker) in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam, is seen in this Google Maps rendition. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A terminal of the Hon Thom Cable Car (red marker) in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam, is seen in this Google Maps rendition.

The Hon Thom Cable Car stretches around 7,899 meters from a town on Vietnam’s tourist mecca of Phu Quoc Island to the neighboring smaller islands of Hon Roi and Hon Thom.

The ropeway, launched in February, was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s longest non-stop three-rope cable car.

The cable car system has 69 cabins, offering free Wi-Fi, with a capacity of up to 30 passengers each, and they can move at the maximum speed of 8.5 meters per second.

Its largest support tower stands about 174 meters above sea level.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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