All 21 people trapped on a New Mexico tramway have been rescued after being trapped, in some cases for over 12 hours, the Bernalillo County Fire Department said. Two tram cars became stuck early Saturday morning when moisture and winds caused icing to occur, Sandia Peak Tramway general manager Michael Donovan told CBS Albuquerque, New Mexico, affiliate KQRE.
The people were rescued 2-4 at a time, Jayme Fuller from the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office said. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office broadcast a live feed of the rescue on its Facebook page, including the high-flying rescue where crews climbed the second tram tower, came through the roof hatch and then helpeld rappel the trapped people to the ground, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
After rescuing 20 people from the first gondola, a lone employee was rescued after being stuck in the second car.
Also assisting in the rescue were BSCO Metro Air support, Bernalillo County Fire Department and New Mexico state police search and rescue. Fuller said the emergency call came in around 2 a.m. on Saturday.
Donovan told KQRE that the trapped people included employees from the tram, as well as the Ten 3 restaurant at the peak. He said the tram cars are supplied with provisions like food and water, as well as emergency heating blankets.
Some of the riders posted video and photos of icy conditions on the tramway. Fuller told the Albuquerque Journal that those stranded were employees of a local restaurant who were taking the tram down after their New Year's Eve shift had ended.
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