All stranded passengers rescued from Mont Blanc cable cars

The final 33 passengers who spent the night in cable cars over Mont Blanc in the Alps on the French-Italian border have been rescued and the cable system is working again, a police spokeswoman said Friday.

The passengers were able to disembark at the nearest station after technicians repaired the fault in the 5-kilomtre wire system, Florence Macian of the Haute-Savoie regional police told dpa.

Nobody suffered injuries from their night spent in gondolas high over the mountain, but some did show signs of stress and anxiety, she said.

A total of 110 people were initially stranded Thursday afternoon when the cables became tangled. They spent the night at an altitude of over 3,000 metres.

Rescue crews used helicopters to bring 77 of the passengers to safety before being forced to call off the operation for the night, the spokeswoman said.

Five of the rescue workers spent the night in the gondolas with the stranded passengers, she said. Temperatures went down to the freezing point, but the passengers were provided with blankets, food and water before the operation was suspended.

"The extent of the rescue operation was extraordinary," Macian said.

Technicians were able to untangle the cables on Friday morning, France Info radio reported. Unconfirmed media reports said high winds had caused the cables to become tangled, leading to the breakdown.

One of the male passengers who was rescued on Thursday told France Info: "It took three hours. It was very long. You are isolated, you wait."

Mont Blanc stands on the border between France and Italy. At 4,810 metres, it is the highest mountain in the Alps.

The cable car system links Aiguille de Midi at 3,842 metres above sea level with Pointe Helbronner at 3,462 metres.

In depth coverage

45 remain stranded in Mont Blanc gondolas

Approximately 45 people, including a 10-year-old child, will spend the night at an altitude of over 3,000 metres after their Mont Blanc cable cars were stranded, according to French news agency AFP.

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Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 01:31
Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:21

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