Tags: mont blanc | stranded | cable cars

Mont Blanc Stranded Cable Cars Means Overnight Stay for Stuck Passengers

Image: Mont Blanc Stranded Cable Cars Means Overnight Stay for Stuck Passengers

An EC-135 helicopter operated by the French Societe' Civile hovers, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, near three cars of the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car where tourists were trapped. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
 

By    |   Friday, 09 Sep 2016 12:14 PM

Mont Blanc stranded cable cars left 33 tourists dangling overnight before they were rescued Friday morning.

The cable cars connect the Aiguille de Midi, on the French side of the mountains, to the Pointe Helbronner, on the Italian side, The Local reported. The cars, though stopped working Thursday afternoon when the cables holding them tangled in the high winds.

Some 77 tourists were initially rescued by helicopter, but 33 could not be, and they were forced to spend the night in the cars, The Local noted.

"The 33 tourists had to endure not just the fear of being hundreds of meters off the ground but also temperatures close to freezing," the French news site wrote. "They were given special survival kits including energy bars and emergency blankets."

The BBC News reported that the remaining passengers were saved when rescuers restarted the stranded cable cars after relaxing the tension of tangled cables on Friday.

Louis Delisle, a 23-year-old who was on the cable car with his father, Valery Delisle, told Reuters his health struggled while waiting overnight to be rescued.

"One blanket between two was not enough, so I got a chill," he told Reuters. "I threw up. I wasn't feeling good. But then we got by, we exchanged our coats. So we weren't scared, but the cold was a big problem, at least for me. The most important thing is that we all got out."

La Compagnie du Mont Blanc, which runs the cable car, said in a statement that, while the cables can become tangled after an abrupt halt to the system or in strong winds, it was not clear what caused the issue on Thursday.

Mathieu Dechavanne, the company's head, told Reuters that the cars stopped because supporting cables and towing cables crossed at three different points.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't untangle the third cable so, as it was getting late, we decided, in accordance with procedure, to call the police helicopter to evacuate as many people as we could before night fell," Dechavanne said, according to Reuters.

The Local stated that an investigation is expected to determine how exactly the cables became tangled.

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Mont Blanc stranded cable cars left 33 tourists dangling overnight before they were rescued Friday morning.
mont blanc, stranded, cable cars
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2016-14-09
Friday, 09 Sep 2016 12:14 PM
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