Fri, Feb 01, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Councilor calls for gondola inspection after near-accident

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Maokong Gondola cable cars are pictured in Taipei’s Wenshan District on March 6 last year.

Photo courtesy of Taipei Rapid Transit Corp

Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said it is still investigating how a piece of acrylic window vent from a Maokong Gondola cable car fell off on Wednesday last week, almost hitting a tea farmer, as a Taipei City councilor yesterday urged the company to inspect all of the system’s cars.

A preliminary investigation found that the screws securing the window had not come loose, but the rotation shaft appeared to have been fractured by an external force, TRTC said.

Station staff reported that a vent window on a car was missing when it arrived at Zhinan Temple Station, but had been in place when it left Maokong Station at about 4:39pm.

TRTC said it would continue to investigate the incident, the first such accident in the system’s 11-year history, and would develop a plan to prevent it from recurring.

The piece that fell off was about 70cm long and weighed 1.9kg, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chien Hsu-pei (簡舒培) said.

It fell about 264m to the ground, landing next to a farmer who was working in his fields, Chien said.

It would have been a tragedy if the piece had actually hit anyone, she said.

The company should conduct a full inspection of the gondola system and re-evaluate its standard maintenance operations to prevent a repeat of the incident, she said.

Passengers might open or close the vents to take photographs or adjust the temperature and ventilation inside the cars, so the company should instruct passengers on how to properly open or close the windows, she said.

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