“I saw one tree fall on the other side where there were gondolas going up. The wires shook quite violently and the next thing I know there’s another crack – it was a tree falling on our side.”-Sam Brown
This is the stuff of chairlift nightmares. A British couple survived being flung through a window of The Chapelle d’Abondance Gondola in France after it was smashed by a massive fir tree as they downloaded to the base of the mountain during a wind storm as reported by The Mirror.
The couple were on their first day of a ski vacation in Abondance in the Haute-Savoie when the incident occurred. The were descending the mountain in a gondola during a wind storm when a massive fir tree uprooted and fell on the gondola cable. The couple were launched through a smashed window as the car’s roof folded on impact.
They fell 20 feet to snowy ground and woke up next to each other. The uprooted tree that was leaning on the cable then snapped sending the car back up into the air. Here is how Sam Brown, 23, from south west London recalls it:
“We were in the gondola between a line of trees when a gust came and there was an automatic cut-out of power, so we had stopped.
I saw one tree fall on the other side where there were gondolas going up. The wires shook quite violently and the next thing I know there’s another crack – it was a tree falling on our side.
I don’t really know what happened next – I just found myself in the snow and there was debris from the gondola around me.
We’re very lucky to have come out with just a few cuts and bruises and no broken bones. All those who helped us were incredible. We’d really like to thank them.”
After coming to, he helped his girlfriend, Rachel Henson, 25, to her feet and they walked 100 yards to an empty chalet where they awaited rescue. Unbelievable story, glad these two survived with just minor cuts and bruises.
[images from youtube.com]