Electrical problem halts cable cars, passengers stranded

TN News

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The explosion of an electrical transformer stopped a cable car system outside Hanoi on Friday, leaving hundreds of passengers hanging in the air for nearly one hour, the system’s operator said Sunday.

The accident took place at around 3.30 p.m. as the cable cars were in motion at the Huong (perfume) Pagoda complex, 60 kilometers southwest of central Hanoi.

The whole pagoda in My Duc District then went black after the explosion at the adjacent Ung Hoa District’s Van Dinh Town. Operations resumed to normal 45 minutes later, but were suspended once all passengers had vacated the cars.

The incident had destroyed six of the cable system’s 12 operating chips, according to Do Trong Khiem, director general of Perfume Pagoda’s Cable Car System Joint-stock Company.

A group of experts from Germany came to Vietnam on Monday to repair the system, which was expected to be fully restored by Thursday, he said, adding the suspension was losing the company VND500-700 million (US$26,881-37,634) a day.

He noted that the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs assigned an agency to check the system’s quality and safety every year, and his company had already paid insurance for the European-imported system and passengers through this year.

Huong Pagoda’s one-kilometer-plus cable car system was put into operation in 2006 with 45 cabins and three stations at Thien Tru Pagoda, Giai Oan Pagoda and Huong Tich Cave.

It can transport around 1,000 passengers per hour, however it has become known for overloading during the Tet Lunar New Year holiday as tens of thousands of pilgrims flock to attend the country’s largest and longest annual festival held at the pagoda.

Reported by Viet Chien

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