A Powell-Hyde cable car that stopped abruptly at Powell and Washington streets Wednesday morning injured seven people and delayed a cruise ship scheduled to set sail for Hawaii.
The cable car was traveling toward downtown about 10:20 a.m. with about 40 people aboard when it apparently hit a bolt in the tracks, causing the incident, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.
Click on the photo to see the slideshow.
Seven people were injured in the accident and transported to the hospital, including both the driver and the grip man, Rose said. One of them was a man in his late 80s who hit his head. Two other people were treated at the scene and released.
Rose said he expects the passengers to be treated and released, but Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said at least one person was ejected from the cable car and transported to the hospital. It’s not known if the man in his 80s was the passenger ejected.
Rose said the passengers involved in Wednesday’s incident were part of a cruise that had docked in San Francisco.
He said the agency was in contact with the ship in order to prevent it from leaving while the passengers were being treated at the hospital.
According to the Port of San Francisco, the cruise ship Costa Deliziosa, operated by Costa Crociere, was scheduled to have docked at Pier 35 at 8 a.m. Tuesday. It was expected to leave The City by 1 p.m. Wednesday and head to Hawaii, which is the next stop on its round-the-world trip.
The cable cars are one of the most popular attractions for tourists coming to San Francisco. For $5, passengers can climb The City’s hills at 11 mph aboard the historic cars that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, restores and puts into service along three lines.
Rose said collisions like these are “rare.” He said operators and maintenance personnel are constantly surveying tracks to prevent such incidents.
“We maintain our tracks constantly, every single day,” Rose said. “This type of occurrence is very rare. We apologize to our customers who may have been involved.”