Cabin Falls From a Gondola in Switzerland

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No one was injured when a downbound cabin detached from a haul rope near the Swiss town of Schwyz this morning.  The empty gondola fell some 60 feet into a pasture and was heavily damaged.  Approximately 50 people in other carriers were brought into stations normally and the gondola was closed.  It appears the incident happened at or near one of the lift’s 16 towers.

The gondola is a 2014 Garaventa model with CWA Omega cabins and torsion grips.  An investigation will be undertaken by the Swiss Transportation Safety Board.  The company which operates the lift, Rotenfluebahn Mythenregion AG, says it will not reopen the system until it is cleared to do so and the rope is inspected for damage.

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Doppelmayr Worldbook entry for the affected lift.

Update 10/21: The operator issued a statement blaming the accident on high wind.  The affected cabin collided with the tower before falling.  The installation was already in the process of being cleared of riders when the incident occurred, a process which takes 20 minutes.  The gondola remains temporarily closed.

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12 thoughts on “Cabin Falls From a Gondola in Switzerland

  1. Rene Thoeni October 20, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    As so often when accidents happen many people will react that equipment now is built in a flimsy way with the big interesst that manufacturing management is more concerned about stuffing more money in to there pockets. That is simply not true and I responded to some of comments made in the Blick Swiss Paper that how come this reasoning for profit always comes up with the dumb argument about profit being the only interesst. This was a rather lucky accident and much can be learned from this incidence.
    At the same time it is a fact that even within our own country equipment is running that is outdated and is in poor operating condition for more of the cause to make money then for safety.

    Like

    • marklundberg322 October 20, 2019 / 8:59 pm

      Are you related to Rene Thoeni from Alpine Technologies in California?

      Like

      • Rene Thoeni October 22, 2019 / 7:11 pm

        That is me! I started to work and build Ski Lifts in a horse shed in Canada in year 1960

        Like

  2. Adam Francis October 20, 2019 / 6:50 pm

    If companies only concentrated on revenues and turned a blind eye to guest and staff safety they would probably not be creating a sustainable business model!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teddy's Lift World October 21, 2019 / 9:48 am

    If the lift was functioning correctly, it would have e stopped due to a grip force fault. A sensor probably malfunctioned or it was operator error.

    Like

  4. Peter Landsman October 21, 2019 / 1:57 pm

    Post has been updated with a new statement pointing to high wind as the cause of this accident.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. seilritter37 October 22, 2019 / 7:16 pm

    Uplift by wind can actually for a fraction of a second reduce grip force.

    Like

    • Michael October 23, 2019 / 8:02 am

      How does that happen? Grip force is applied by the springs/washer pack, etc. The grip acts independently from the weight of the carrier. And it sounds like the carrier striking the tower caused the detachment.

      Like

      • seilritter37 November 1, 2019 / 4:14 pm

        Easiest explanation, what does a dentist do when he extracts a tooth? With his pliers he puts pressure in each and up direction until the darn thing gives way. A cabin and grip gets tossed in every direction including uplift that basically tries to lift the grip and cabin up and off the cable. It is that up lift and yes for a split second puts pressure on the spring and washer pack in the opposite direction. We also know where wind uplift had the force to lift tram cabins off the track rope. .

        Like

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