Rescue At Aerial Tram At Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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Firefighters have rescued 20 people who were stranded on the scenic Sky Ride at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The chair lift stopped because of a mechanical problem that struck the ride at about 3 pm Wednesday afternoon.

"We had, for the first time ever, an evacuation of the Mountaineer Sky Ride," said Jean Gordon, the Zoo's Director of Marketing.

The 20 passengers were spread out over seven chairs. When technicians realized the problem required more time to fix, the fire department was called to the scene.

"It's part of the job, we have to get in there to do jobs that can get a little dicey," said Lt. J.J. Halsey.

Firefighters used ladders and other heavy equipment to reach the passengers who dangled for up to two hours 35 to 40 feet above the zoo.

"It stopped," said Matthew Wursten. "I was wondering why and then a man came and told us the machine was broken."

Wursten was riding the chair lift with his grandfather Doug when everything stopped.

"We might have given them a little more excitement than they were after," said Doug.

No one on the ride was injured, and the rescue went smoothly, according to firefighters.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department trains with Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff for situations just like this that may involve the aerial tram.

Workers at the zoo continued to look into the problem into Wednesday night. They will asses the situation, and may re-open the ride on Thursday.

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