Photo: Bomberos de Tenerife.
Updated 20 August: As expected, the Teleférico has reopened today, with technicians assuring the public that everything is safe and functioning properly. I know people like to say “it breaks down too frequently for me”, but this is only the second time in a year and a half, and many years before that to the previous breakdown, and in all occasions, the emergency services and the technical and administrative authorities have coordinated excellently and quickly, and thankfully there have not been any casualties. It’s always dramatic when it happens, but it is an excellent draw for tourists and occasionally residents to get an unrivalled view of Tenerife from one of the highest points in Europe!
Updated 2pm: As of 1pm, Bomberos de Tenerife say that the fault is already repaired though the Teleférico will now be closed throughout the weekend for checks and revisions to be carried out by technical staff. Bomberos are continuing with the rescue accompanying the 120 who were stuck in the upper station down to ground level. Meanwhile, La Orotava’s Security Department (Cecopal) has asked the public to stay away from the area while the emergency services are in operation, and the council’s Policía Local has shut the Teleférico access road to ensure compliance.
Original post 18 August: There is still no official confirmation but there are reports from the Teleférico this morning that both cabins are stranded in midair after the cables became tangled around 10am. As of midday, some 35 people are said to be in the two cabins, with bomberos apparently on the way to start organizing a rescue. It was in March last year that 60 people had to be rescued from the cabins after a breakdown affecting around 200 visitors (see HERE). More details no doubt in due course …
edit: within a minute of my posting this there is now official confirmation. Volcano Teide, which runs the Teleférico, says that the emergency protocol was activated at 10.20am after the cabins were stopped by security features because of an emergency. There are 34 people already in the base station being evacuated, and 120 in the upper station who will be evacuated via the Teleférico which will thereafter be closed for the rest of the day for the revisions and checks according to the emergency protocol. The Teleférico expects to reopen tomorrow. Tenerife President Carlos Alonso has said that the incident demonstrates perfectly how the security agencies function and coordinate so brilliantly.