Ngong Ping 360

Belt fault halts cable-car ride at Ocean Park

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 12:15pm

A leisurely ride on Ocean Park's cable car line lasted eight minutes longer for about 280 people yesterday after one of the rubber belts in the system broke.

Ocean Park chairman Allan Zeman described the incident as 'a minor technical fault' that 'happens all the time'.

The incident, which occurred at 1.43pm, was reported to the police. The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department was also informed and will receive a report from Ocean Park today. The department conducts spot checks on the cable car system, a spokesman said.

A spokesman for the marine-themed park, which marked its 30th anniversary early this year, said the operating system automatically shut down the cable car line after detecting a mechanical problem at the Headland terminal station. Rubber belts are used to help transport cabins in and out of the terminal stations.

The broken belt was replaced by the park's engineers and, after final testing, normal operation was resumed at 1.51pm.

The spokesman said the problem was an isolated incident and stressed that passenger safety was not compromised even though first-aid teams were sent to both terminal stations.

Cable TV News quoted the man who called the police about the incident as saying his cabin was travelling downhill when the cable car was stopped about five minutes into the ride.

He said he had originally thought service was halted to allow people to take photographs.

However, a fellow passenger in his cabin, a tourist from Shenzhen, played down the incident.

'It often happens on the mainland, but only Hong Kong likes to make a fuss about it,' the tourist said.

He said he was impressed by the attitude of the staff, who repeatedly apologised for the service disruption after he got off the cable car.

Another guest, Leung Lai-chung, said he was not aware of the incident until he was told by the media but was still confident about the park's safety measures.

'Ocean Park has been operating for a long time. I think it [the safety system] should be OK,' he said.

Xiao Yong, from Fuzhou, also said the incident would not dampen her mood. She is on a five-day trip to Hong Kong.

'Ocean Park has a good reputation back home,' she said.

The incident came as anticipation builds that the city's other cable car attraction, Ngong Ping 360 on Lantau Island, will resume soon. A government spokesman said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang would announce the findings of a report into a Ngong Ping 360 incident sometime next month.

An empty cabin fell to the ground on June 11 during evening speed tests after the operation had closed for the day.