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People Rescued After 'Skyfari' Gets Stuck Above Bronx Zoo

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Source: www.wcbs880.com

People Rescued After 'Skyfari' Ride Gets Stuck Above Bronx Zoo



NEW YORK (AP) -- Dozens of Bronx Zoo sightseers were rescued unharmed after being stuck in cable cars 100 feet above zoo animals for five hours, authorities said.


Thirty-seven passengers were stranded in the Skyfari cable car ride when one of the gondolas got out of alignment, officials said.


``The cable just jumped a wheel, but the gondola was in no danger of falling,'' said Assistant Fire Chief Thomas Haring.


Firefighters and police officers used a crane to rescue a family of three from the offline gondola, which swung about 100 feet in the air. They got the gondola back online and restarted the system, allowing the passengers in the other cars to complete their rides before getting off.


The cable car ride broke down around 5:30 p.m., halting 14 cars. Thirty adults and seven children were stranded.


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. The other 34 people stepped off the cable cars at about 10:20 p.m.


The mother, Olga Perez, said she was visiting the zoo from her home in suburban New City with relatives from Colombia, who were stranded in other cable cars with her terrified 9-year-old son. She said firefighters talked to them and gave them water.


``We were trying to calm ourselves,'' she said. ``Deep in my heart I knew I was going to take it a little bit at a time.''


The Skyfari, which passes over the butterfly garden, the baboon habitat 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.


Zoo officials and rescuers, who used a crane brought from Queens, said they didn't know why a cable car had become misaligned.


Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said stormy weather might have contributed to the mishap.


The Skyfari, which opened in 1973, is certified for operation by the state Department of Labor. A department spokesman didn't immediately reply to an e-mail or a telephone message left at an after-hours number.


Zoo Director Jim Breheny, who joined Kelly and other officials at a news conference after all the passengers were rescued, said the ride's cables and pulleys are serviced every year.


``It was an unfortunate incident, but it was a happy ending to an unfortunate incident,'' he said.


Kelly said a seven-months pregnant passenger complained of cramps and was taken to Jacobi Medical Center. One other passenger was examined but refused medical attention.


In April 2006, both cars on an aerial tramway that shuttles commuters and tourists between Manhattan and an island in the East River stopped moving because of mechanical problems. The breakdown stranded 69 people for about 11 hours.


Police staged a daring rescue, going up in a diesel-powered gondola to reach the cable cars, which offer breathtaking views of the city from up to 250 feet high, and removing the passengers a few at a time.


The Roosevelt Island cable car system, featured in the movies ``Spider-Man'' and ``City Slickers,'' was repaired and upgraded.


The Skyfari is a 1972 Von Roll Type 101 skyride. It is believed a wind gust was to blame.

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Well it didn't take long... the pregnant lady and her companion filed suit for $15,000,000 today. That works out to about $3 million an hour- or $50,000 a minute - or about $833 a second. Seems about right. <_< Is it any wonder there aren't that many of these rides left in the the USA.

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That makes me sick. 15,000,000 for no injury, just the hassle. And the sad thing is they will mosy likely get a settlement of a few million. If something like that ever happend to me at GA, i'd sue for free Season Passes for life. That would be my lawsuit. :Mickeymorph:

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  • 1 year later...

The Bronx Zoo Skyride is for sale on Ital Intl Inc.


Bronx Zoo dismantles Skyfari; chucks childhood memories into the scrap heap

April 11, 2010 2:39 PMNY Wellness Examiner Roger Ziegler


The Bronx Zoo, one of my favorite NYC Wellness places, has done the unthinkable. They have dismantled the best ride in the entire place, the Skyfari.


The gondola ride that gave you a birds-eye view of the entire park and the surrounding neighborhood has been torn down because it was becoming "too expensive to maintain." Even though a spokesperson admitted it usually "broke even."




If the San Diego zoo can find a way to have their skyfari, surely the Bronx Zoo can too.


This was one of my favorite rides as a kid. Before me lay the promise of an entire world, that I was both tethered and unhooked from.


I knew for a few minutes what those birds got all excited about. It was freedom and it was danger. Could these thin wires really hold us up? What would happen if we fell into the lion's den? Would I bravely give my life so my family could survive, or would, more likely, sacrifice my younger brother instead?


As an adult, my wonder only returned when I rode the skyrails. Like eating a toasted almond bar or Cadbury creme egg or sitting on a swing in a playground.


If you feel this is an utter travesty of past and future childhood wonderment, contact the Bronx Zoo at guestrelations@wcs.org or (718) 220-5100 and tell them you want this treasure restored.


The zoo is one of the Best Wellness Spots in the City and the Skyfari was one of it's jewels. It would be like tearing down the Roosevelt Island tram or taking out the flame in Lady Liberty's torch to save on electricity.


Let them know we want the Sky back!

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