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Mont Blanc cable car rescue - latest

Local News // Sept. 9, 2016
Mont Blanc cable car rescue - latest

UPDATE 12:17

UPDATE 11:35

Those who spent the night in the cable cars between The Aiguille du Midi and Pointe Helbronner seem to be in fairly good spirits as they talk to our News Editor, Katy Dartford this morning outside the café at Aiguille du Midi after the third and final cable was untangled and the cable car was brought down to safety this morning.


UPDATE 10:42

UPDATE 10:10am

The 33 remaining people, including children, who spent the night in the cable cars have now been bought down.

UPDATE 8:25am

The remaining cable has been untangled and the 33 people who spent the night are heading down from the cable cars, where a doctor is waiting for them before they return to Chamonix.

UPDATE 7:45am

Live on air at 7:45am, Katy Dartford reports in on the Breakfast show with presenters Mark Butcher & Katt Cullen.

Rescue operations began again this morning to rescue the remaining 33 people still trapped in the Panoramic Mont-Blanc gondola linking the Aiguille du Midi in France, to the Point Helbronner in Italy.

Originally 110 people were trapped across 12 cable cars when a haulage cable crossed a suspension cable carrying the gondolas on Thursday 8th September. The cause was said to be strong winds, but a press release from the Companie du Mont Blanc also listed that a sudden stop can also be the cause of such an occurrence. 

At first, rescue teams attempted to uncross the cables and successfully unknotted two of the three cables that were crossed. When the unknotting of the third cable wasn't successful the rescue procedures, the Companie du Mont-Blanc decided to call the resources of the mountain rescue teams.

4 helicopters were involved in the operation, including 2 belonging to the PGHM (police mountain resuce forces), 1 private helicopter and 1 Italian helicopter, commanded by the Colonel of the French Mountain Gendarmerie under the coordination of the Préfet de Haute Savoie.  

BFMTV reports that as of  9pm around 45 people had been rescued.

Mathieu Dechavanne, chief executive of the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc, which manages the cable cars, said the operation to get people down ‘will take some time' but fortunately, 'the weather is good.'

Many will have to spend the night trapped in the cable cars at around 3,700 metres.

He told La Vanguardia: 'We are in contact with customers. They have water and means to communicate.'

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