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Falling Tree Causes Austrian Cable Car to Plummet Over 20 Feet, Injuring 6

At least one victim faced life-threatening injuries from the crash, which also injured two more people in a nearby cable car, according to news reports.

A cable car mast in the Oetz region of AustriaA cable car mast in the Oetz region of Austria; (photo via Shutterstock)
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In an unusual incident near the Hochoetz ski resort in the Austrian Tyrol, a cable car carrying four people crashed 23 feet (7 m) to the ground on Tuesday morning.

A falling tree struck the cables of the gondola, causing it to plummet with a 49-year-old father, his 20-year-old son, 19-year-old daughter, and their uncle, 46, ABC News reported.

The rescue mission unfolded under difficult circumstances because of the steep slope beneath the gondola, rendering access for emergency personnel “highly difficult,” according to the BBC.

Efforts to extract the injured parties involved helicopters, with one of the victims transported to an Innsbruck hospital with life-threatening injuries.

More Cable Crash Details Forthcoming

Two German citizens aboard a separate gondola also experienced injuries, believed to be a result of cable vibrations, although their current conditions remain unknown. According to local authorities, there were no technical issues detected along the Acherkogelbahn cable car route.

The lift operator didn’t report any problems during a test run on Tuesday. Other gondolas were on the route at the time of the accident, according to further news reports.

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