Dramatic rescue of 21 NYE revelers trapped in trams at New Mexico ski resort captured on video

A harrowing rescue of 21 people trapped in lift trams at a ski resort in New Mexico was captured on video on New Year’s Eve.

The nearly two dozen people trapped in the trams at the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque are safe after operators were forced to stop the cars Friday night following “severe icing due to the moisture and cold temperature that affected the emergency cable,” according to general manager Michael Donovan, who spoke to ABC Albuquerque affiliate KOAT.

Employees of the tramway and a restaurant at the top of the Sandia Peak were in the tram cars in what was the last transit of the evening, KOAT reported. One of the passengers noted on social media that the staffers had been trapped since around 9 p.m. Friday.

Tram operators contacted New Mexico Search and Rescue personnel just before 3 a.m., said Spencer Moreland, the incident commander, according to ABC News. The time lapse was due to the fact that rescuers had to hike several hours to the site and develop a rescue plan, Moreland said.

“We did an assessment of everybody on the tram, determined they were fine and doing well, given the conditions,” Moreland told a news conference on Saturday. He also said that rescue personnel were able to provide those who were trapped with provisions including food, water, and blankets.

The 21 trapped staffers in one of the tramway’s two cars were rescued by using a rigged rope system. After they were lowered to the ground, they were evacuated two to four persons at a time via helicopter, according to authorities. The local sheriff’s office live-streamed the rescue op for nearly an hour.

Bernalillo County fire officials announced around 1 p.m. Saturday via Twitter that all 21 persons had been rescued.

“After a coordinated effort between BCFD, BCSO, NM State Police, and NM Search & Rescue Teams, we are happy to report that the 20 people have been rescued from Gondola 2. Gondola 1 still has one employee and we are actively working are rescue plan,” the department wrote.

One employee who was stuck in the second tram car was also rescued around 5 p.m., according to a subsequent fire department update.

Authorities said that high winds and poor visibility made the rescue operation difficult.

“This is not something that we hadn’t kind of planned on at some point,” Bernalillo County Under Sheriff Larry Koren told reporters. “We’ve done a lot of training with all of our search and rescue stakeholders here in the past regarding the tram operations.”

Agencies involved in the rescue effort included Metro Air Support, the Bernalillo County sheriff’s office and fire department, New Mexico State Police, New Mexico Search and Rescue Teams, ABC News reported.


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Jon Dougherty


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles