Accident investigated – death on support: gondola section rammed employees

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Investigation after the accident on Sunday at the Mayrhofner Bergbahnen in Tyrol revealed: the 52-year-old should have touched the upper part of the cab. Work will resume on Tuesday. 500 people were taken from the mountain and the guests praised them for it.

The dismay at the Mayrhofner Bergbahnen is great after the death of an employee – the “Krone” reported on the accident on Sunday. An employee (52) had been standing on the 45 meter high support 1 for maintenance work (lubrication). Suddenly he was no longer reachable by radio. Colleagues then found him motionless, because unfortunately the man arrived too late despite the large-scale operation.

Hit by part of the gondola, cause unclear
After that, despite all the grief, it was necessary to deal with the matter soberly. And with that, decisive progress has already been made: “There must have been a collision with part of the gondola”, says Meinrad Wilfling, board member of the “Krone”. In concrete terms, there may be a collision with the loading rail of a passing gondola. This part is located a few meters above the cabin roof where the gondola hangs from the rope.

The autopsy scheduled for Monday should clarify whether the collision led directly to the man’s death. Whether he already had some form of health damage that was the cause of the further occurrence of the accident. However, nothing was known about the results of the forensic medical examination.

The Ahornbahn should be put back into operation on Tuesday. As early as Monday afternoon, after the events had been documented, the go-ahead was given by the cable car authorities. “Even the Labor Inspectorate and the Federal Accident Investigation Agency didn’t object,” Wilfling says.

Challenge: 500 people had to enter the valley
The commitment of the helpers and rescue workers was exemplary from 4 p.m. on Sunday. The recovery of a tangled paraglider had only been practiced at the relevant tower 1 last year. The biggest challenge was getting more than 500 people – some families with prams – from the mountain to the valley.

“A section alarm was given for the fire brigade in the upper Zillertal and the mountain rescue services in Tux, Ginzling and Zell were also added,” says Andreas Eder, operational manager of the mountain rescue service Mayrhofen. The guests were taken to the valley in numerous minibuses and other vehicles, from the tarmac area they transferred to larger buses.

“We were looked after, everything went fine”
“Everything went without much excitement, around 10 pm the campaign was over for us,” says Eder. Holidaymaker Maximilian Martin (20) from Olpe, Germany, who is in the Zillertal with his girlfriend, also tells us that the cable car had made exemplary efforts to take care of its customers: “We could not get on the last gondola at 4:30 am as Upstairs we were provided with mineral water and there were also free drinks at the cabin. The return journey went well.” After the strenuous journey to the Ahornspitze, people were very grateful for that.

Whether the cause of the accident can be fully clarified despite the autopsy of the fatal victim is currently still open. Cable car board member Wilfling described the employee, who has worked for the company since 2018, as “extremely conscientious”. The native East Tyrolean was a valued colleague.

Source: Krone

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