Forty-five people were stranded overnight in cable cars near Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, when a ride between two mountain peaks came to a halt on Thursday, French authorities said.
Four helicopters had managed to rescue 65 people from the cable cars before night fell over the Alps, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement.
An EC-135 helicopter operated by the French Societe' Civile hovers near three cars of the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car that stalled around 4 pm.
An EC-135 helicopter operated by the French Societe' Civile hovers.
The Vallee Blanche Cable Car that rises to an altitude of 3,778 metres (12,395 feet) connects the famed Aiguille du Midi peak to the Pointe Helbronner and takes 30 minutes.
Aerial view of three cars of the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car where tourists were trapped after it stalled around 4 pm on Thursday, when its cables reportedly tangled.
A rescue helicopter takes off towards the Mont-Blanc cable car "Skyway" during a rescue operation on September 9, 2016, in Courmayeur.
This picture taken on September 9, 2016, shows the Mont-Blanc cable car "Skyway" in Courmayeur.
A view of the Aiguille de Midi peak in France, at 3,842 meters (12,605 feet).
The 5-km (3-mile) ride between the Aiguille du Midi peak and the Helbronner summit, at the border between France and Italy, is at an altitude of over 3,000 metres (9,840 feet). It usually takes 35 minutes but has been stuck since 5:30pm (1530 GMT).
France 3 TV said the cable cars stopped when cables became tangled in high winds. Cazeneuve mentioned a technical incident but gave no details.
Blankets and food were delivered by helicopters to those still stuck inside. Rescue workers would stay with them overnight.