[dropcap]A[/dropcap] total of 110 tourists have been safely rescued after being trapped in Mont Blanc cable cars since Thursday.
Dozens of them even stayed overnight in the cable cars dangling at some 3,600 meters altitude above the slopes of Mont Blanc in the Alps.
The cables stopped working around 4 p.m. local time on Thursday because of tangling due to high winds.
A press release from the Companie du Mont Blanc also said that a sudden stop can also be the cause of such an occurrence.
At first, rescue teams attempted to uncross the cables and successfully unknotted two of the three cables that were crossed. When the unknotting of the third cable wasn’t successful, the Companie du Mont-Blanc decided to call the resources of the mountain rescue teams.
Four helicopters were involved in the operation, including two belonging to the PGHM (police mountain rescue forces), one private helicopter and one Italian helicopter, commanded by the Colonel of the French Mountain Gendarmerie under the coordination of the Préfet de Haute Savoie.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the helicopters deployed rescued 65 people before efforts were suspended for the night.
The extent of the rescue operation is so large that helicopters rarely rescue 110 people at the same time in high mountain.
Helicopters had to fly cautiously over the cable, lower a rescuer, strap on passengers one by one and extract them.
Five rescuers were transported to the site and spent the night with those who were trapped in cable cars. They brought in water, food and blankets.
The cable cars resumed operation Friday morning after being repaired, and the travellers were brought to the French town of Chamonix and the Italian town of Courmayeur.
The Panoramic Cable car is operated in the summer season, while another series of cable cars take tourists to the peak of the Aiguille de Midi year-round.
Source: Xinhua and https://worldradio.ch/news/0916/mont-blanc-cable-car-rescue-_-latest.html