Broken carabiner cause of fallen panel from Portland aerial tram

Transportation officials say it's not known what caused the carabiner to break.

Posted: Dec 6, 2018 7:05 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2018 7:20 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Officials say a backup safety device meant to keep decorative panels from falling from Portland's Aerial Tram failed, causing a panel to fall off and hit a woman on the head Tuesday.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation said Wednesday that crews found that one of the carabiners that helped hold the panel on the roof broke.

Authorities say the 35-square-foot metal panel fell an estimated 130 feet, hitting a 21-year-old woman as she walked down a stairway. Authorities say she escaped serious injury.

Transportation officials said it's not known what caused the carabiner to break.

Officials say crews inspected and replaced all the carabiners on all the panels.

The tram, which opened in 2006, is owned by the city. Some 10,000 people ride it between Oregon Health & Science University's Marquam Hill and waterfront campuses each day.

The incident remains under investigation.

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