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Tourists trapped on top of Teide Park mountain after cable-car breakdown
AT LEAST 75 tourists have been stuck overnight in Tenerife's Teide National Park after the cable car broke down, waiting for daylight so they can be rescued.
The security braking system became blocked due to a mechanical fault, and the cable car ground to a halt in mid-air.
Emergency services managed to get everyone out after a rescue operation of several hours, but they needed a helicopter to bring them to terra firma.
Rescue helicopters cannot fly at night, meaning all those affected have had to spend the night in the ancient retreat at the top of the Montaña Blanca.
Not only were those who were in the cable car at the time affected, but also those in a car travelling in the opposite direction along the line – a total of around 75 - and a group of 200 waiting to for their return cabin after visiting the retreat.
Nobody is thought to have suffered any ill-effects, except for one person who needed medical assistance due to suffering altitude sickness.
The cabins were about 400 metres from the top and bottom stations respectively, and chairman of the island council or Cabildo, Carlos Alonso, says it is not yet clear why the security system became blocked.
He said this can be done manually from inside the cabins, meaning a passenger may have done so without realising.
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