Arch trams shut down, stranding visitors

10:02 PM, Mar 24, 2011   |    comments
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St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Hundreds of people were stuck 630 foot above St. Louis when a tram system in the Arch stopped working Thursday afternoon.

As expected there were some tense moments when this happened, but fortunately the people stranded were mainly stuck in the viewing areas, not in the actual trams.

National Park Service officials say this incident started around 12:30 p.m., when doors at the top of the south tower tram system would not close. Passengers were asked to standby for a few minutes before finally being told to return to the viewing area.

Workers spent several minutes trying to figure out what happened but decided to send people down the trams in the north tower. That tower has been closed while workers switched over to a new system that will run the tram electronically.

That system is currently running the south tower, which malfunctioned. Officials believe a computer glitch was the problem.

For most passengers, the error left them stuck inside the Arch for about 45 minutes. No one was injured. Jim Williams said his daughter wasn't a big fan of the tram system to begin with, and especially not when it broke down.

"She was pretty nervous but didn't freak our or anything but she certainly was not looking forward to the ride down," said visitor, Jim Williams.

This incident happened at a very busy time at the Arch because of spring break and lots of visitors Many had to get a refund since they were not going to be able to go up to the top of the Arch.

The North and South trams are scheduled to be open and running on a new system next week.


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