Dozens of passengers get stuck in Haifa cable car due to power outage

The incident, which left roughly 30 passengers stranded for nearly an hour, was not the first time this year Haifa's cable cars have halted mid-trip.

 Haifa cableway car descending from top of Carmel to Bat Galim. (photo credit: GILABRAND AT ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA/CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)
Haifa cableway car descending from top of Carmel to Bat Galim.
(photo credit: GILABRAND AT ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA/CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)

Haifa’s cable cars were stopped on Monday evening due to a power outage, leaving roughly 30 passengers stranded on them until firefighters and rescue teams arrived at the scene to rescue them.

Damaged by stormy winter weather, cable car service is expected to be halted until Tuesday morning as staff work to restore the power current. No injuries were reported as a result of the malfunction. 

"Everything was coordinated with the Magen David Adom and the fire brigade," said the cable car operator regarding the incident. "The light and intercom in the carriages were working and they (were able to) contact with the passengers."

“It was also reported that this is the first power outage since the cable car was opened as a mode of public transportation in April. Due to strong wind, wires were broken in a high voltage line in the city that also supplies electricity to the cable car. Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) teams repaired the damage in roughly half an hour and restored the electricity supply," explained the operator.

Cable car malfunctions in Haifa

About two months ago, dozens of passengers got stuck in the Haifa cable car while it was in the air for over an hour and a half – though not as a result of a power outage. There were no injuries in the incident, and after the malfunction was repaired, the cable car emphasized that there was no safety problem. 

 CABLE CAR project: Appears to be on (Illustrative). (credit: Hanna Balan/Unsplash) CABLE CAR project: Appears to be on (Illustrative). (credit: Hanna Balan/Unsplash)

However, the Hatzalah organization received numerous calls from distressed passengers following the incident, who reported that the cable car malfunction caused "stress and anxiety" among the passengers. 

"It was an abnormal nightmare. We were hanging between heaven and earth, literally," explained Dotan Azlan, an engineer and resident of the city of Harish who was in the trailer with his brother Shanir, a doctor from Ra'anana, and each of their young children. "It started right when we left the university station and each time the cable car continued a few meters and stopped. The children were stressed and the truth was we were also stressed by it. The frustrating part was that there was no one to report (the incident) to."