155 people killed in a cable car (2000)

Picture: Shutterstock
Written by: 360.org

Saturday, 11 November 2017

2000 -

It’s pure horror, just thinking about it. 155 people were killed, today in the year 2000, when a cable car burst into flames, stalled inside a mountain tunnel. The cable car was on its way to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier in Austria. It ran from the Alpine village of Kaprun through a tunnel, up the mountain to the glacier on top. The fire started in an electric heater.

Emergency stop
The Gletscherbahn Kaprun2 was a funicular railway, opened in 1974. It was modernized seven years before the disaster, giving the trains a futuristic look. On November 11, 2000 9:00 am, it departed the station with 161 passengers and 1 conductor. Just before it drove into the tunnel, a heater caught fire in an unattended cabin. Leaking hydraulic fuel also caught fire. The train made an emergency stop, 600 metres into the tunnel.

Retired fire fighter
Some passengers passed out because of the poisonous smoke, others tried to escape from the train, but weren’t able to open doors or break a window. Some succeeded, but when they fled upwards the tunnel acted like a giant blast furnace. Three people in the station at the top also were asphyxiated. Twelve people survived because they followed the advice of a retired fire fighter and escaped downwards, past the fire and below the smoke.

360 trivial fact
Many years later, people still remember the disaster and the victims it made. There is a memorial site near the tunnel.



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