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High-wire rescue: Family with newborn lowered from gondola stuck above Rhine

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-22 18:35:28-04

COLOGNE, Germany – Heart stopping video shows crews rescuing a family of four -- as well as two Americans -- who were trapped inside a gondola high above the river Rhine Wednesday evening.

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The family, which included a three-month-old baby and two-year-old child, had to wait for three hours in the gondola until high-altitude rescuers were able to lower the family to a waiting boat.

The drama started around 5 p.m. when a strong gust of wind hit another gondola transporting the two cousins from the U.S. That jolt forced one of the gondola’s to jump the wire track, which caused the entire cableway to shutdown.

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"In regard to the weather conditions we had, it may well be that a strong gust of wind moved the gondola so that one of the four wheels jumped out,” said Franz Wolf Ramien, a spokesman for the Cologne Transit Authority.

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