WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Passengers were stranded in the air for three hours when the Disney World’s Skyliner gondolas were abruptly jerked to a stop on Saturday night.
- The Skyliner gondola system that was recently launched last month has reportedly malfunctioned, although the cause was not yet disclosed by the company.
- According to the park’s emergency medical crew, tourists in 6 gondolas were not hurt, mostly complaining of anxiety attacks.
On Saturday night, tourists riding Disney World’s newly launched aerial gondola system called Skyliner, were left stranded in the air after an undetermined malfunction caused the gondolas to stop. In what was thought to be just a brief stop lasted over three hours.
The Disney Skyliner gondola system started operating on September 29.
According to Disney World, there are three separately running sections carrying a total of 300 gondolas that connect Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and three Walt Disney World resorts. The riders who were in gondolas on Saturday said that around 8 pm, one of the sections suddenly stopped.
Pictures of several gondolas bunched up together in what seemed like a collision at one of the system’s stations were posted on social media.
People called for help through social media, most of whom experienced anxiety attacks, according to Ryan O’Reilly, a representative for firefighters at Walt Disney World. Using special equipment to lift people out, he said that people in 6 gondolas were rescued by emergency medical workers. The gondola reportedly started moving again after 11 pm.
Although it remains unclear what caused the problem, a Disney World spokeswoman who told the Orlando Sentinel that investigations on what led to “the unexpected downtime” is ongoing, refused to provide further details.
Disney World has not also immediately returned calls to requests for comment on Sunday evening.
The newspaper reported that the whole gondola system has been shut down. It is not clear when it resumes operations.
George Wallace, 28, from Idaho was visiting with his wife and 2 children when the gondola abruptly jerked to a stop. He said at first they didn’t think anything was wrong until a loud message was played telling riders to stay seated and informing them of an emergency pack under the seat.
“In the moment it was definitely scary because it was the first time I had ever been on the Skyliner, in addition to it being only a few days old,” said Mr. Wallace in an email.
He added that when his children started crying and becoming anxious, they used glow sticks and notepads from the emergency pack to distract the kids.
Source: Yahoo News