Probe begins into cable-car accident in the Tyrol
7 September 2005, SOELDEN, AUSTRIA - Experts opened an inquiry Tuesday into a cable-car accident in Soelden in the Austrian Tyrol that left nine German tourists, six of them children, dead and seven injured.
7 September 2005
SOELDEN, AUSTRIA - Experts opened an inquiry Tuesday into a cable-car accident in Soelden in the Austrian Tyrol that left nine German tourists, six of them children, dead and seven injured.
Austrian Transport Minister Hubert Gorbach promised the cause of the accident would be "cleared up" completely. Neither human error nor technical fault could be excluded.
The investigation was concentrating on the holding device of a transport helicopter that was carrying a 750-kilogramme slab of concrete to a lift station at the top of a mountain, Austria's ORF television reported.
The device opened, sending the concrete slab crashing onto a gondola carrying German tourists from a height of 200 metres, sending the car falling at least 50 metres.
The resulting vibrations on the cable car line caused a neighbouring gondola to swing violently, throwing a total of six people of out the windows to their deaths.
The helicopter has since been seized by investigators. The helicopter pilot was suffering from shock and was not immediately able to be questioned.
All of the victims were from Germany. Identification of the dead was completed on Tuesday. DNA tests had to be used in the case of three children.
Among the nine dead, there had been six children, all of them belonging to a ski club from the German Black Forest region. They had come to Austria for training. The three adults that had been killed, one woman and two men, had been from Bavaria.
Seven people who had been seriously injured, among them boys aged nine and 14, had been flown to hospitals in Zams and Innsbruck where their lives were said to be no longer in danger.
Subject: German news