Rescuers work to free dozens trapped on one of world’s highest cable car systems
(CNN) — Rescuers in Ecuador are working through the night to free dozens of people trapped in gondolas on one of the world’s highest cable car systems.
Firefighters were alerted around 4 p.m. local time Thursday of a technical failure that affected the Quito Cable Car, with at least 70 people trapped, the Quito municipality said in a statement. They launched a rescue effort in the highlands soon after.
In the early hours of Friday morning, Quito authorities said 17 people had been rescued so far. Ongoing rescue efforts include ambulances and 40 emergency workers including paramedics, high mountain teams, and aerial drone units.
Photos released by Quito authorities show emergency workers huddled in the dark, with the city mayor on site.
Those rescued are being transferred to a safe place to receive a medical evaluation, the municipality added.
The Quito Cable Car, also known as the Telefériqo, reaches more than 3,947 meters (12,950 feet) above sea level, making it one of the highest cable cars in South America, according to its official website.
The ride travels more than 2,500 meters (about 1.55 miles) over an 18-minute journey that offers a view of the Quito cityscape and the surrounding mountains, the site says.