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Drama at big wheel as tourists abandoned

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Drama at big wheel as tourists abandoned
Photo: Paul Gillingwater
17:51 CET+01:00
Two Polish tourists became the first in 55 years to be trapped in Vienna's famous big Ferris wheel after staff packed up and went home.

The couple had been the last to board the Wiener Riesenrad - which is German for Vienna Giant Wheel - at the end of the day, and a staff member decided to allow them around one more time.

But they handed over the controls to a colleague, who was unaware the couple were on board, and he switched the lights off and went home.

Company boss Peter Petritsch said: "Something like this has simply never happened to us in 55 years."

He said there were two members of staff on duty when the couple asked if they could go on the wheel for a romantic trip just before it closed. He said the second staff member had not realised and switched everything off.

The two Polish tourists had reportedly at first enjoyed the romantic view but eventually became bored and after being stuck for 40 minutes they decided to use their mobile phones to call for help.

A staff member quickly arrived on the scene, and arranged for the pair to be brought back to the ground where they were given a bottle of champagne to say sorry.

The 64.75-metre (212-foot) tall Ferris wheel at the entrance of the Prater amusement park in Austria's capital Vienna is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.

It was the world's tallest extant Ferris wheel from 1920 until 1985 and most famously appeared in the post-war Orson Welles film The Third Man, which was released in 1949.

Story courtesy CEN






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