110 people became trapped inside cable cars at an altitude of 3,800ft over the slopes of Mont Blanc yesterday, when guide cables became tangled in high winds.
Three helicopters were dispatched to the location, and crews managed to rescue 65 people before nightfall. However, 45 people were forced to spend the night inside the cars at high altitude, as darkness and deteriorating weather hampered rescue efforts. They were provided with blankets and food, and specialist personnel did remain on board with the stranded passengers.
The rescue operation resumed at first light, and the remaining passengers have now been brought to safety.
The cable car system connects Aiguille du Midi on the French side of the mountains with Pointe Helbronner on the Italian border. About one million people a year take the scenic ride, which takes about 30 minutes to complete.