Sunday, July 22, 2007
Stuck in a Tight Situation? 200 People Stuck in Arch
I have no known phobias. But when I last went up into the pod in the St Louis Arch, I felt very uncomfortable in the transporting pod. When at the top, it was crowded and as much as I dreaded the trip back down in the pod, I could not wait to get down from the stuffy Arch. A few weeks ago I took my kids to the Arch and did not go up to the top in the pod. Perhaps I had a pemonition of what was to come? ("Final Destination 3?")
This weekend, approximately 200 people were trapped inside the 630-foot Gateway Arch for about two hours. Apparently a power outage Saturday caused the trauma. Two trams filled with about 40 people each apparently stalled. Mike Maris is the deputy superintendent of the Gateway Arch and he provided estimated that about 100 other people were stranded at the top of the monument. Evacuation of the south tram took about two hours.Power was restored to the north tram. This allowed stranded visitors to avoid having to use the stairs to evacuate according to Capt. Steve Simpson, a spokesman for the St. Louis Fire Department. Rescue crews treated two people. One was given oxygen and the other was diabetic. Apparently most folks were in good spirits, but I bet they were relieved to be back on the ground.
The 630-foot-tall structure is operated by the National Park Service. Since 1966, the Arch has been a very popular tourist attraction.