Nearly 300 individuals were successfully evacuated from a high-mountain station in the Swiss Alps following the breakdown of a cable car that led to the popular Glacier 3000 ski resort in Les Diablerets mountain range in southwestern Switzerland.
Republic World reports the incident, caused by an electrical failure in the engine system of the second cable car section leading to the top, was reported by the Glacier 3000 chief executive, Bernhard Tschannen. Fortunately, no injuries were reported as the cable car was equipped with a specialized engine for such situations, enabling the safe evacuation of all passengers.
Initially, the tourists at the top station, situated at an impressive altitude of 2,971 meters (9,747 feet), were advised to enjoy the breathtaking views while technical staff attempted to fix the issue. Drinks and food were provided at the mountaintop restaurant during the wait. However, around 1 pm, it was decided to initiate the evacuation. Around 270 people, primarily tourists, were transported by chairlift to the glacier below, where they were then airlifted by two helicopters to the middle station. From there, they could catch the still-functioning chairlift on the first section back down to Col du Pillon, which sits at an elevation of 1,546 meters above sea level.
The entire evacuation process took less than two hours, while some technical staff stayed at the top station to continue working on resolving the problem. The Glacier 3000 chief executive expressed hope that everything would be restored and operations could resume as usual by the following day, pending confirmation.
images from Glacier 3000 FB