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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
Mountain cable car ride reopens
HSE inspectors examine the wreckage
The manufacturers of the cable car blamed the crash on human error
A cable car gondola system in the Highlands has reopened after a crash earlier this month in which five people were injured.

Nevis Range said it had carried out a "comprehensive series" of safety checks in accordance with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines.

The accident at Aonach Mor, near Fort William, happened on 13 July.

A gondola malfunctioned and crashed into another car behind it before falling 30ft to the ground.

Raigmore Hospital in Inverness said that two of a family of three injured in the accident were still in a "comfortable" condition.

Stable condition

They are Teresa Murphy and her three-year-old Caitlin Harris. Her father Craig Harris has been released from hospital.

Jelle Koen, from Totnes, Devon, was in a "stable and improving" condition in the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow.

His son Daniel, 24, was injured but released from Belford Hospital, Fort William, where the casualties were first taken after the accident.

We would not be opening if we were not completely confident in the safety of the gondola
Nevis Range chief Marian Austin

The system was running again at 1000 BST on Tuesday.

Nevis Range managing director Marian Austin said the decision to reopen the gondola was taken only after "exhaustive work" with engineers from the HSE and the gondola's makers, Austrian firm Doppelmayr.

She said: "Our first thoughts have been, and remain, with those who were injured or caught up in the accident, and their families.

"We are pleased that they are making good progress.

Minor damage

"Safety is our highest priority at Nevis Range. We would not be opening if we were not completely confident in the safety of the gondola.

"Neither would the HSE allow us to open unless they were satisfied with the results of their tests."

Ms Austin said each one of the 70 gondola clamps and all other machinery had been checked.

She added: "The main cable sustained some minor damage and this has been repaired and thoroughly tested.

Cable Car system
The system was running again on Tuesday

"We have improved top and bottom station launch guides. And we have revised operating procedures."

The HSE's investigation was ongoing on Tuesday and Nevis Range said it would not comment on the causes of the accident until the results were known.

Ms Austin added: "We would like to thank the many locals and visitors who have wished us well in the last few days.

"We've had a stream of regular gondola users, mountain bikers and tourists saying they are keen to get back up the mountain again and that means a lot to us at this difficult time."

Last week, the Austrian manufacturer of the gondola system said the incident was caused by operator error.

Doppelmayr said an alarm sounded before one of the cars crashed into another - but no action was taken.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the cable car system working again



SEE ALSO
Cable crash 'human error' claim
18 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Gondolas could reopen within days
17 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Probe into cable car crash begins
14 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
People injured in cable car crash
13 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
'We could feel the car swinging'
13 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Nevis cable cars 'one of a kind'
13 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
In Pictures: Cable car accident
13 Jul 06 |  In Pictures

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