French Alps cable cars rescue bid resumes

Paris, Sep 9 (IANS) An operation to rescue people trapped overnight in a series of cable cars in the French Alps has resumed.

At least 110 persons got trapped when the cable cars ground to a halt on Thursday afternoon after the cables tangled in strong winds, BBC news reported.

Among them, 45 tourists spent a night suspended above the glaciers of Mont Blanc at an altitude of about 3,800 metres (12,468ft), after 65 persons were rescued by helicopter and the operation had to be suspended as clouds hampered visibility.

“We were forced to suspend operations for safety reasons,” said Georges Francois Leclerc, prefect of the Haute-Savoie department.

“We hope to get everyone out on Friday morning,” he said, adding that it was “a very complex operation”.

Technicians were trying to untangle the cable cars by loosening the tension of cables holding them.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said first aid workers spent the night in the cable cars with those trapped and survival blankets, energy bars and bottles of water were provided.

The cable cars connect the Aiguille de Midi peak in France, at 3,842 metres (12,605ft), to Pointe Helbronner in Italy, at 3,462 metres (11,358ft) and offer a panoramic view of Mont Blanc.

–IANS

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