Avalanche Destroys French Ski Lift, With 70 People Onboard

No injuries were reported, though some skiers were left dangling in the air as they waited for rescue.

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An avalanche rolled through the St Francois-Longchamps ski resort in the Savoie region of France Sunday, destroying a ski lift with 70 passengers onboard. No injuries were reported, though some skiers were left dangling in the air as they waited for rescue, the Telegraph reports. Within two and a half hours, all skiers were safely evacuated, many by helicopter.

“There was the risk of another avalanche, so we wanted to avoid bringing the people down on the ground to stop them being swept way by another avalanche,” Captain Cyril Anceau, CRS Alps commander, told French broadcaster M6.

(MORE: The Anatomy of an Avalanche)

When lift attendant Marie-Helene Dulac saw the avalanche coming, she was unable to stop the lift before the structure buckled and gave out.

“I managed the situation. The fear came after the rescue teams arrived. At that moment, I went to pieces,” she told APTN.

The incident marks the second major lift evacuation in France within the past month. In mid-February, a gondola broke down at the Alpe d’Huez ski resort, leaving 60 passengers in need of rescue.

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