Cable car accident in Liberec claims one life

The driver of a cable car has been pronounced dead and 14 people were rescued following an accident on Ještěd mountain this afternoon.


Written by ČTK Published on 31.10.2021 16:18:00 (updated on 31.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The driver of a cable car that fell to the ground at Ještěd mountain has been pronounced dead at the scene, Liberec regional rescue service spokesperson Michael Georgiev has told CTK.

Rescuers are now looking after passengers and a second driver, who are reportedly uninjured. The late driver suffered fatal injuries during the fall, Georgiev added.

The driver was alone in his car when it fell, but a second car with 14 passengers and another driver was left hanging on the lift. They are not injured, but are currently being treated by psychologists.

The fall was reported at about 1:30 p.m. today. The cable car fell near the first pillar of the lift and has been completely demolished.

Firefighters evacuated people from the second car, which was stuck 15 meters above the ground, spokesperson David Kořínek told CTK.

Members of the local integrated rescue service take part in exercises simulating the fall of the cable car every year. However, no such incident had occurred in its 80-plus years of existence.

It is not known yet what happened, but the cable car was due to be decommissioned as of Monday for a regular check before winter.

The cable car at Ještěd is a popular tourist destination. Last year, it carried 211,000 people to the top of the mountain. Two years ago, the electric mechanism of the chairlift went through a reconstruction process. Its engine and safety features were also replaced at that time.


Last year, the cable car was out of order for more than 100 days. Due to technical difficulties, its operation was also suspended for a few days in September.

The two-cabin cable car at Ještěd is among the oldest cable cars in the Czech Republic. The 1,188-meter long track was built in 1932-1933. The bottom station is located 600 meters above sea level, with the top station 400 meters higher.

České dráhy, which operates the cable car, declined to comment on the accident as it is waiting for results from the police investigation, spokesperson Lukáš Kubát said.

Similar cable car accidents are rare in the Czech Republic. One person died and several people were injured near Špindlerův Mlýn in November 2013 when a family boarded a cable car and the towline was ripped in two. The cabin fell to the ground from a height of about ten meters, and tumbled down a steep slope.

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