San Francisco Cable Car Emergency: Six Passengers Hospitalized After Brake Drama

SAN FRANCISCO – Six passengers on a San Francisco cable car required hospitalization on Monday after an incident that necessitated the conductor’s use of the emergency brake to avert a collision with another vehicle.

Around 1 p.m., the San Francisco Fire Department issued a warning to the public, urging them to steer clear of the Washington and Taylor streets intersection due to a traffic incident, and confirmed that emergency response teams were already at the location.

According to Lt. Mariano Elias, a spokesperson for the Fire Department, the cable car was descending Washington Street and was nearing the foot of the hill when the conductor observed a passenger vehicle positioned in the intersection of Taylor Street. In an effort to prevent a collision, the cable car operator swiftly engaged the emergency brake, causing a sudden stop.

While the emergency brake successfully prevented an impact with the other vehicle, its use caused passengers on board to lunge forward. As a result, 14 individuals were assessed, with six individuals subsequently transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

As outlined by the Cable Car Museum, the emergency brake is one of three braking mechanisms on the cable car and is employed only as a last resort. It comprises an 18-inch steel wedge suspended over the track slot.

The museum’s website explains that if the gripman is unable to halt the car through other means, pulling the lever forces the brake down into the slot, where it wedges so firmly that it often necessitates removal using a torch. Due to this characteristic, it is sometimes referred to as a “guillotine brake.”

Officials confirmed that the cable car was cleared and back in operation shortly before 3 p.m.

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