110 people stuck in cable cars suspended over the French Alps

Picture: Getty Images
Around 110 people were stuck in cable cars high above the glaciers of Mont Blanc in the French Alps late Thursday as authorities planned to bring in helicopters to rescue them, officials said.

The cable cars were at “an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,468 feet)”, the prefect of the Haute-Savoie region, Georges-Francois Leclerc told AFP. They connect Aiguille du Midi on the French side of the mountains with Pointe Helbronner on the Italian border.

The problem was caused by cables that got crossed for “unknown reasons” around 1400 GMT and the employees of the Mont-Blanc Company weren’t able to repair them, Mathieu Dechavanne, CEO of the company that manages the cable cars, told AFP.

A rescue operation, including three helicopters from Switzerland, France and Italy, will be undertaken “that will take some time but the weather is good”, Dechavanne said.

“We are in contact with the clients (in the cable cars). They have water and some means of communication but are beginning to find it’s taking a long time,” he added.

The cable cars, which carry four passengers each, offer a panoramic view of Mont Blanc, which is at 4,810 meters, crossing from France towards Italy.