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Six tourists get trapped at the top of the Columbus Monument in Barcelona
By:
ThinkSpain , Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Six tourists, who had been trapped on the viewing platform at the top of the Columbus monument in Barcelona since 10 o'clock this morning after the access lift broke down, have finally been rescued.

After attempts to mend the lift failed, firefighters first tried to rescue them via helicopter, and then, five hours later, finally managed to reach them with a huge crane.

The Columbus monument, which is 60 m (197 ft) tall and stands at the lower end of La Rambla, has been cordoned off by police and five teams of firefighters are in attendance.

According to a statement from Barcelona city council, the tourists, two Japanese and four from Málaga, had been trapped since 10am, after going up by lift to the viewing platform, but the alarm was not raised until 10.47am.

Technicians tried mending the lift from ground level, but when this proved to be impossible firefighters brought in a helicopter, which also proved fruitless.

At around 3pm today, the rescue teams started erecting a huge crane with a cabin and a team of firefighters was raised to the viewing platform level to carry out the rescue. All of the tourists remained calm throughout the rescue operation and were back on solid ground by 5pm.

A large crowd of onlookers gathered at the foot of the monument, which has been closed to the public.  Local police and  Catalan Regional Police officers (Mossos d'Esquadra)  controlled the situation from ground level.

 
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