Monday, July 23, 2007

Arch Enemy

I’m not overly claustrophobic but this horrifies me.
ST. LOUIS -- One of the two trams that take visitors to the top of the Gateway Arch was out of service Sunday after a power failure trapped about 200 people for hours inside the landmark the night before.

The Arch’s deputy superintendent, Frank Mares, said a fuse blew Saturday night after one of nine cables pulling the south tram apparently failed and came in contact with an electrified rail.

Power went out again Sunday for about 15 minutes after the Arch reopened, in a failure believed to be linked to Saturday’s problem.

On Saturday, about 40 people in each tram were stuck, as were another 100 at the top of the Arch and others in loading zones. The St. Louis Fire Department said that at least two people needed medical attention, but that no one was seriously hurt.

Visitors at the top of the Arch had to wait about three hours to get down, Mares said. Those inside the tram cars waited about two hours but were probably the most uncomfortable because they lacked air conditioning, he said.

I’ll be honest; I’ve never gone to the top of the arch, mostly because it’s always been closed when I’ve tried. Now there is simply no way in hell you’re getting me up there.


Anonymous said...

I went up to the top of the Arch when I was 13 or 14. Every time I see the Arch, I think about being in that tiny little elevator and start hyperventilating.

Getting trapped in one of those elevators is like my worst nightmare. Funk dat.

I'm glad I've been to the top of the Arch, because I am absolutely positive I am never going back.

ThirtyWhat said...

Amen, preach brother. I've gone up to the top of the arch twice ... both times I was absolutely terrified riding in that little bucket. After reading this, it only confirms my worst fears. I'll never go up again.