Image: Gondola stuck
Ed Ou  /  AP
Night falls as passengers wait in a cable car that became stuck above the Bronx Zoo in New York on Wednesday. All those aboard got off the ride safely.
updated 7/9/2008 11:26:20 PM ET 2008-07-10T03:26:20

Dozens of sightseers were stranded in cable cars over Bronx Zoo animal habitats Wednesday afternoon until the gondola system was repaired more than four hours later.

The system abruptly halted about 5:30 p.m. when one of the cars became misaligned. Firefighters and police used a crane to rescue three people in that car, but 34 other people were stranded in the other cars halted by the breakdown.

Once the misaligned gondola was back on track, the Skyfari system was restarted and the once-stranded passengers could complete their rides at the regular exits.

The Skyfari passes over the butterfly garden, the baboon habitat and part of the African plains exhibit, where lions and gazelles roam.

Zoo officials and rescuers said they didn't know why a car had become misaligned.

Neighborhood resident Gwen Lawson said she saw the paralyzed cable cars through binoculars from her apartment shortly after a thunderstorm.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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