Pilgrims stranded midair as snag hits rope car in
Palani (TN): Twenty three pilgrims were stranded in midair for four hours in a rope cable car which stopped halfway to the famous Lord Muruga hill shrine here following a snag today.
The pilgrims, including six children and two differently- abled persons, travelling in two cabins were stuck at different heights -- 20 feet and 100 feet -- when the cable car came to a halt at 8 am on way to the Sri Dhandayuthapani Swamy shrine, officials said.
All the pilgrims were rescued after a four-hour battle by the fire service personnel who used rope ladder and bamboo baskets to bring them down.
"We got panicky when the cabin got stuck. But the fire service personnel`s encouraging words that we will be rescued soon eased the anxiety to large extent," Vijayakumari, one of the devotees, told reporters.
The rope car is being operated by a private company and it took two and half minutes to cover the distance of 323 metres from the base station to the temple.
After an accident in 2007 in which four devotees died, the capacity of the cabins were re-arranged to carry 16 persons each while going up and 12 on the way down.
Temple Joint Commissioner P Baskaran said the reason for the snag was being probed by an 11-member committee set up to study the feasibility of installing another ropecar.
It would suggest measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents, he added.
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