45 to spend night trapped in Mont Blanc cable cars in Alps

45 to spend night trapped in Mont Blanc cable cars in Alps

Update 10.20pm: 45 people will spend the night trapped in cable cars over Mont Blanc after a rescue operation was stood down for the night.

110 people became trapped as they rode the Vallee Blanche Cable Car in the Alps, when overhead cables crossed over for "unknown reasons" earlier this evening.

Rescuers managed to evacuate 65 people by helicopter, but the operation was suspended for safety reasons including bad weather and poor visibility.

The remaining 45 will be rescued in the morning.

Those still trapped have been given water, food and survival blankets.

Rescue officers are staying to stay inside the cabins to reassure affected holidaymakers throughout the night.

Earlier: More than 100 people are stuck on a series of cable cars in the Mont Blanc region of the Alps, French officials said.

Chamonix mayor Eric Fournier said "the people stuck are being evacuated by helicopter" and added that "there's nothing fundamentally to fear".

Mr Fournier, who spoke to BFM-TV, said Italian authorities were helping with the rescue.

It is not clear what caused the cable cars to stop - or if there was an electricity outage.

A local police official said that the 110 people trapped were in the Vallee Blanche Cable Car that rises to an altitude of 3,778 metres (12,395ft).

It connects the famed Aiguille du Midi peak to the Pointe Helbronner and takes 30 minutes.

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