45 tourists stuck in French Alps cable cars overnight finally rescued
Dozens of tourists, including a 10-year-old child, who were trapped in cable cars dangling high above the Alps overnight, have all been safely rescued.
The mountain rescue service in Chamonix said the passengers were taken to the French city and the Italian town of Courmayeur on Friday morning.
A series of cars got stuck after cables tangled at an altitude of 11,600ft (3,600m) over the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps at about 4pm local time on Thursday, prompting a major rescue operation.
Workers from the operating company tried to untangle the lines but failed. They alerted authorities and French and Italian mountain rescue specialists were brought by helicopter to evacuate the cars.
French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 110 people were originally stranded in the "technical incident".
Helicopters rescued 65, but 45 people had to be left there overnight after operations were halted because of rough flight conditions.
Rescuers provided blankets, food and water to help those still stranded weather the chilly mountain night-time conditions.
The cable cars usually take 30-35 minutes to connect the famed Aiguille du Midi peak to the Pointe Helbronner.
The panoramic Vallee Blanche Cable Car rises to an altitude of 12,395ft (3,778m).
It offers spectacular views of western Europe's tallest mountains, glaciers and steep valleys deep below. The Vallee Blanche ride operates in the summer season, when large numbers of climbers and tourists converge on the area.