All Passengers Trapped in Mont Blanc Cable Car Rescued

LYON, France (Reuters) -
Aerial view, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, of three cars of the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car where tourists were trapped after it stalled around 4 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Thursday, when its cables reportedly tangled. The cable car carrying tourists stopped working at high altitude over the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps on Thursday, prompting a major rescue operation and leaving 45 people trapped in midair overnight, France's interior minister said. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Aerial view of three cars of the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car where tourists were trapped after it stalled on Thursday afternoon. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

The final passengers trapped in cable cars high over the slopes of Mont Blanc were brought back to an altitude station after repairs to tangled cables were completed successfully, the cable car operator said on Friday.

Emergency workers scrambled at first light on Friday to rescue the remaining 33 people, including one child. BFM-TV reported that repairs to tangled cables had been successful and that those stranded were being brought back to the base of the ride.

More than 110 people were initially trapped on the 3-mile ride between two mountain peaks at an altitude of over 9,840 feet when three cables became tangled at 5.30 p.m. local time on Thursday.

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

Four helicopters rescued 65 people from the four-person cable cars before night fell over Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Another dozen people were evacuated during the night by rescuers using ropes.

The cable car connects Aiguille du Midi peak on the French side of the mountain and the Helbronner summit on the Italian border. The panoramic ride over glaciers usually takes 30 minutes to complete.