Tuesday, July 24, 2007

This Power Failure Was An Arch-Enemy to Some St. Louis Tourists

I've been a visitor to St. Louis and the famous Gateway Arch on several occasions in the past year, so my attention was immediately drawn to a story from a few days ago of the Arch being hit by a power failure this past Saturday:
One of the two trams that take visitors to the top of the Gateway Arch was out of service Sunday after a power failure trapped about 200 people for hours inside the landmark the night before.
The Arch's deputy superintendent, Frank Mares, said a fuse blew Saturday night after one of nine cables pulling the south tram apparently failed and came in contact with an electrified rail.

Power went out again Sunday for about 15 minutes after the Arch reopened, in a failure believed to be linked to Saturday's problem.

On Saturday, about 40 people in each tram were stuck, as were another 100 at the top of the Arch and others in loading zones. The St. Louis Fire Department said that at least two people needed medical attention, but that no one was seriously hurt.

Visitors at the top of the Arch had to wait about three hours to get down, Mares said. Those inside the tram cars waited about two hours but were probably the most uncomfortable because they lacked air conditioning, he said.

Some people were taken down staircases to a service elevator, but most waited for a tram to begin running again.
"There was never any danger, just a lot of inconvenience," Mares said.
I especially feel for the people who were inside the trams at the time, because not only are they unairconditioned, as the story pointed out, but also because they're extremely cramped in there. Last time, we had made jokes about having to walk down all those stairs, but we never thought anyone would have to use them this soon. (And I still can't figure out how in the world they fit 100 people at the top; it's just not that big up there.)

And as one might expect from a well-run place like the Arch, the people who got stuck up there got refreshments and refunds when all was said and done. I certainly won't be nervous on my next visit, as the place has a great track record (and my next visit to STL will also likely mean that a cool jazz concert is in the offing).

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!: Starbucks announced that it's raising its beverage prices by nine cents starting next week.

Let this be a lesson to all stupid criminals out there: If you break into a place that's labeled "K-9 FACILITY," you're likely to be caught by dogs.

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