On Tuesday, a metal panel from Portland's aerial tram dislodged and struck a 21-year-old woman walking underneath it. She was not seriously hurt.
In a release yesterday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation says the decorative metal panel was attached to the tram cabin via metal latches and, as a fail-safe, a set of carabiners and wire tethers.
"In this incident, one of the carabiners holding the panel to the cabin was found to have broken," the release notes. "At this time, it is not known what caused the carabiner to break."
Last night, WW's news partner KATU-TV obtained footage of the panel fluttering off the tram.
Tram staff halted operations to check on the injured person and inspect other tram cabin panels before resuming normal service. Later that night, crews, "out of an abundance of caution," replaced the tethers and carabiners on all other panels.
PBOT and Oregon Health and Science University have also hired an "independent ropeway engineer" from Colorado to assess why the carabiner failed and highlight any needed safety updates.
The ropeway engineer and OHSU will prepare a report that is expected to be released next month.