Cable car knocked to ground by falling tree in Austrian ski resort

Hochoetz skiing area of Tyrol
The cable car c\ame down in Acherkogelbahn in the Hochoetz skiing area of Tyrol - ORF

A cable car in a western Austrian skiing region plunged about 33ft on Tuesday afternoon in an accident apparently caused by a falling tree, police said.

Four members of a family from Denmark who were inside the car were injured.

The tree fell on a part that fixed the car to the cable of the Acherkogelbahn in the Hochoetz skiing area of Tyrol, the Austria Press Agency reported. The car then fell with the four occupants — a man aged 49 and his children, a 20-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman, and their uncle, 46.

One of them suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital in Innsbruck. Local police commander Hubert Juen said two German citizens in the next car along were also hurt by the vibrations of the cable, which did not break, but the extent of their injuries was not known.

The crushed cable car
The crashed car which had four members of a family inside - APA/BMI/Flugpolizei/AFP via Getty Images
The Acherkogelbahn in the Hochoetz skiing area of Tyrol
Rescue services at the scene - Zoom.Tirol
Rescue helicopter
Two people were also injured by vibrations in the cable car behind - Zoom.Tirol

Experts were investigating the accident but “nothing points to a technical or human failure”, Mr Juen said.

The operator said no irregularities had been noticed during a test run of the facility early on Tuesday and  the weather at the time was not windy.

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