Cable car passengers stranded in French Alps rescued

Thirty three tourists stranded in cable cars high above the French Alps have been rescued after technicians restarted the ride by relaxing the tension of tangled wires.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A rescue helicopter takes off towards the Mont Blanc cable car "Skyway" during a rescue operation on September 9, 2016, in Courmayeur.

Thirty three people who were trapped overnight in cable cars thousands of metres above the French Alps were brought to safety on Friday after technicians repaired the ride's tangled cables.

Around 110 people were initially stuck in cable cars at an altitude of 3,800 metres (12,500 feet) between two mountain peaks in the Mont Blanc region when cables became tangled in high winds.

Daniele (L), 12, and his parents, who spent a night in a cable car with 33 tourists in the French Alps, leave after being brought to the ground on September 9, 2016 in Courmayeur. (AFP)

Late on Thursday, four helicopters rescued 78 people – 48 who were airlifted out and around 30 who were able to climb down with the help of rescuers.

Another 12 people were evacuated during the night by rescuers using ropes. 

Italian rescuers enter "Skyway," the Mont Blanc cable car, during a rescue operation on September 9, 2016, in Courmayeur.

The rescue operation was suspended during the night due to limited visibility but the authorities were in contact with those stranded in the cars.

They were given emergency blankets, energy bars and bottles of water while in the cars.

 The Mont Blanc cable car linking the Aiguille du Midi peak to the Helbronner peak in Italy. (file photo)

The cable cars connect Aiguille du Midi on the French side of the mountains with Pointe Helbronner on the Italian border.

In a statement, La Compagnie du Mont Blanc, which runs the cable system, gave no reason for the accident but said the cables could become tangled after an abrupt halt to the system or in strong winds.

TRTWorld and agencies