|The year-old, 5.7-kilometre
ride was closed for an investigation after a cabin broke free
during test runs shortly after the $US125 million ($142.9m)
ride had closed for the day on June 11.
No one was inside the cabin, capable of carrying up to 17
people, when it fell the equivalent of more than 13 storeys
into a mangled heap.
The ride was given the green light to reopen after an expert
panel confirmed its design was in line with international
safety standards and practices, but a cable car worker was
charged with criminal negligence as the result of the investigation,
and the entire Australian management team was sacked.
The new operating company brought in following the accident
plans to rebuild confidence in the ride with a series of special
offers and discounts.
Hundreds of passengers were expected to queue for the ride
on Lantau island today after a series of successful test runs
involving 40,000 people riding free during the past week.
Managing director Morris Cheung said 450 tickets had been
sold in advance for the ride.
"We are ready to run. Morale is high," he said
ahead of the opening.
The ride travels hundreds of metres above sea level over
steep hillsides to the Big Buddha statue, the world's tallest
outdoor seated bronze Buddha.
Accidents involving cable car cabins falling are rare.
In 1976, a steel cable snapped on a cable car at the ski
resort of Cavalese, Italy, killing 42 people.