Ride gets stuck at Bronx Zoo

July 10, 2008 5:20:46 AM PDT
Nearly 40 people became stuck on a ride at the Bronx Zoo after one car derailed following thunderstorms that rolled through the area Wednesday.Fourteen cars on the Skyfari gondola ride stopped moving around 5:30 p.m.

Authorities say there were 30 adults and seven children stuck.

A crane was brought in, and the FDNY and NYPD executed a high-angle rescue of a family of three about 100 feet in the air. A 14-year-old girl, her mother and another adult relative were plucked from the offline Skyfari gondola around 8:15 p.m., police said.

After the rescue, workers were able to fix the ride, restoring service to the cars stuck behind it.

An announcement at the zoo said the Skyfari system was repaired and is working normally again. The trapped passengers got off the system at its regular exit platforms. The rescue effort was complete just before 11 p.m. No injuries were reported, and officials say no passengers were in danger at any point.

The Skyfari, which passes over the butterfly garden, the baboon reserves and part of the African plains exhibit where lions and gazelles roam, offers visitors a bird's-eye view of the celebrated zoo and its surroundings. Each of its gondolas can hold up to four people.