Dozens of people trapped overnight in cable cars dangling at 12,000 feet in the French Alps have been rescued safely, officials said Friday.
At least three children and their families were among 33 passengers forced to spend the night in the cabins after weather conditions and the onset of darkness meant the operation to bring them down was halted late Thursday.
The passengers’ ordeal began at about 4:30 p.m. local time Thursday when two cables crossed over each other, a local government official told CNN.
The cable cars became stuck in position, leaving 110 people trapped. French and Italian helicopters were called in, and rescue teams managed to get 65 of them to safety.
Hours later, workers were able to bring down 12 more passengers, who walked to a connecting cable car that took them to the Italian town of Courmayeur.
But Clement Delisle was among those who had to spend more than 12 hours above the mountain valley. He said he and his friends and family had been on the cable car for about 10 minutes when it stopped unexpectedly near l’Aiguille du Midi.
“After two hours, we started getting worried,” he told CNN. “We called and they told us the helicopters were on their way as there was an issue with the wires.”
“Right as the helicopters were about to evacuate us, a cloud of fog started setting in. So the helicopter skipped us, and when they finally circled back … it was nighttime and they could no longer evacuate us.”
Read More: CNN