DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Firefighters rescued about 30 patrons who were stranded on the monorail at the Dallas Zoo’s Wilds of Africa exhibit after the system malfunctioned and shut down just before 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Zoo spokeswoman Suzan Eckert said none of the riders were ever in danger and were given water while Dallas Fire Rescue responders set up ladders for them to climb down. All the riders were off by 5 p.m.
“It went into its standard emergency operation,” said zoo director Gregg Hudson. “When it does that, it shuts down and the electromagnetic breaks on that lock, which is what it’s supposed to do.”
The monorail encircles the Wilds of Africa exhibit and reaches heights of 20 feet on the course, but the majority of the ride is spent near the ground, Eckert said.
Hudson added that safety drills are a part of the staff’s weekly duties. The last run-through was on September 7. All trains go through a daily safety check list, and the train in question has been taken out of commission, Hudson said.
There were no injuries, although a group of chimpanzees were also inconvenienced: Zoo staffers had to move them out of their exhibit so fire and rescue workers could get to the passengers, Hudson said.