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68 People Stranded in Trams Above New York's East River

April 19, 2006|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Dozens of people in two tram cars were left hanging hundreds of feet above the city's East River for hours Tuesday when the system lost power because of a mechanical problem.

Both cars of the Roosevelt Island Tramway, which shuttles commuters and tourists between Manhattan and nearby Roosevelt Island, stalled about 5:15 p.m., stranding 68 people, said Herb Berman, president of the agency that operates the system. No injuries were reported.

A diesel-powered rescue basket that holds about 10 people was moved alongside the cars, and officials began unloading passengers and taking them to the island. Police said the effort would take several hours. About a dozen of those stranded were children or babies, Berman said.

One of the cars held 46 passengers plus an operator, police said. The other held 20 passengers and an operator.

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