1990 Tbilisi aerial tramway accident

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1990 Tbilisi aerial tramway accident
Rittnerbahn 09.jpg
A cable car like the one in the 1990 accident.
Date 1 June 1990 (1990-06-01)
Location Tbilisi, Soviet Georgia
Coordinates 41°41′57″N 44°47′18″E / 41.69917°N 44.78833°E / 41.69917; 44.78833
Deaths 20
Non-fatal injuries 15

The 1990 Tbilisi aerial tramway accident was an aerial tramway accident in Tbilisi, the capital of Soviet Georgia on June 1 1990, which resulted in at least 20 deaths and 15 injuries.

Panoramic view from Mt. Mtatsminda down on Rustaveli Avenue in 2009

The accident involved 2 gondolas on a ropeway route between Rustaveli Avenue and Mount Mtatsminda.[1] The cable car was on its way down from the slope of the mount near the Mtatsminda Pantheon. When the hauling rope broke the lower gondola rolled back and slammed on the wall of the lower station injuring people, the upper gondola rolled down generating higher speed (brakes didn't work), on reaching the lower cable car support mast it struck and broke the hauling rope which tore a gondola apart and caused people to fall from 20 metres of height onto rooftops and ground, at least 20 were killed and 15 injured after jumping from the accelerating gondola. Most of them were children celebrating Children's Day. Days before, the standard Soviet gondolas were changed to bigger ones brought from Finland without any precautions.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Tbilisi Ropeways. Civil Georgia. 2012.
  2. ^ Cable car break kills 20 at Soviet Union tourist site. Star-News. June 2, 1990.
  3. ^ Soviet tram falls. San Jose Mercury News, June 2, 1990.
  4. ^ 20 feared dead in tram crash. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 2, 1990.