Skip to comments.Chunk of concrete hits Austria ski cable
Posted on 09/05/2005 9:53:48 AM PDT by SmithL
VIENNA, Austria - A 1,500-pound chunk of concrete being carried by helicopter for a ski resort construction project hit a gondola full of alpine tourists Monday, knocking it out of the sky and killing nine people, police and media reports said.
Two other nearby gondolas were rocked by the accident, and passengers were ejected. At least four people were injured.
The accident occurred in the ski resort town of Soelden, about 25 miles west of Innsbruck, said Edelbert Kohler, head of the criminal police in Innsbruck.
The helicopter was carrying the concrete to the top station of the cable car lift when the accident occurred, Kohler told The Associated Press. The Austria Press Agency said the piece of concrete weighed more than 1,500 pounds.
Cable car company executive Jakob Falkner told Austrian state television the concrete hit one of the gondolas. Kohler later verified that account.
Falkner said four people - including children - were hurt. He also said some victims appeared to be foreigners.
Red Cross officials quoted by the Austrian news agency said seven people were injured - five of them seriously.
Twelve rescue helicopters, including some from the police and army, flew to the scene, and dozens of emergency workers rushed there on foot.
The glacier skiing area around Soelden - some of it as high as 9,850 feet - is popular with summer tourists, who flock to its perennially snow-covered alpine peaks.
The accident evoked memories of the 1998 ski lift tragedy in neighboring Italy, where a low-flying U.S. Marine jet sliced a gondola's cables, killing 20 people.
Monday's accident also appeared to be the worst of its kind since 155 skiers and snowboarders died in a November 2000 cable-car fire - Austria's deadliest winter resort tragedy.
You would think that they would have suspended gondola operations until the lift were completed.
"The accident evoked memories of the 1998 ski lift tragedy in neighboring Italy..."
Not really, but the reporter had to get it in there.
Common sense would dictate that you don't hoist anything over the car or the lines.
Uffda! What on earth was the 'copter doing flying OVER the gondolas? This will keep a bunch of lawyers in new Mercedes for quite a while.
Hillary just called for a 9/11-like Gondola Commission.
Well, let me be the first to say it [on this thread]: It's Bush's fault.
Why didn't Bush warn the Austrian Gondoliers? WHY??!!!
And lose all of those tourist dollars? No way!
Wow! Awful. I guess when it's your time to go it's your time to go.
What are the odds that time was up for all nine of them at the same time?
I'd say the odds were 1 in 1.
Rumor has it there were no Jews on the gondola. Hmmmm.
Only problem with that theory...what if I'm just one of the OTHER people on the gondola and it's HIS (pointing to guy next to me) time to go.
Yes. Jews were seen getting off gondolas just hours before and started selling gondola stock one week prior.
Can't be any less than the odds of having the gondola you are riding in be hit by a 3/4 ton chunk of concrete dropped by a helicopter.
If it wasn't your time to go, you would have survived. In WWII, some aircrew bailed out of stricken bombers without parachutes and survived 25,000 ft freefalls.
It did actually. There aren't all that many fatal gondola accidents caused by aircraft.
Not everyone has an anti-American agenda.
I suppose there could be 1 or 2 people at AP who don't
Maybe, but mentioning the Italian accident in this article wasn't gratuitous.
By saying, " there could be 1 or 2 people at AP who don't",
I was giving him the benefit of the doubt.