Aug 10, 2012 6:55 PM by Andy Koen
There were some scary moments for passengers riding the Mountaineer Sky Ride at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo this afternoon. Several of them were trapped for about 20 minutes when a software glitch brought the gondola ride to a halt at around 3:00 p.m.
Zoo workers were able to switch to an emergency diesel back up system to get the ride moving and safely evacuate the passengers. The Lopez family were among the last passengers to board the ride when it got stuck.
"All of sudden we see this plume of smoke and hear sirens and we're kind of getting concerned and then it starts to rain and we hear thunder and lightning," recalled Christina Kastel-Lopez. "It was a little exciting."
Zoo spokeswoman Katie Borremans says it's a standard procedure to call the fire department when the Sky Ride malfunctions.
"Everybody was about there for about 20 minutes, they were able to get the sky ride running again on that back up system," Borremans said. "(We) had the fire crews out here as back up just in case."
The ride previously malfunctioned on August 19, 2010, nearly two years ago to the date. The fire department actually had to use ladders to rescue the passengers then. Borremans says she doesn't believe the two malfunctions were related.
The zoo compensated passengers with free passes and the Lopez family said they wouldn't worry about riding the Sky Ride again in the future.