Emergency helicopters have rescued 20 people who were trapped in a cable car in southern Germany for over 18 hours. The passengers were stuck overnight after a paraglider tandem flight crashed into its cable on Friday and strong winds hindered the rescue.
The 19 tourists and one cable car operator were hanging 100 metres (330ft) above the ground on the Tegelberg mountain. A mountain rescue specialist was lowered into the gondola to provide food and clothing to the trapped people, who ranged in age from four to 75. He then stayed with them while they waited for more help.
The first to be airlifted from the gondola were two men, then four children and then everyone else. The entire rescue operation took about two hours, and more than 200 emergency personnel were on site, according to Bavaria’s mountain rescue service.
The 1,880m (6,170ft) Tegelberg is within sight of one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions, Neuschwanstein Castle, which is often viewed as the inspiration for one of Walt Disney’s fairy tale castles.
The two paragliders, a 54-year-old pilot and a 35-year-old passenger, were also rescued by helicopter and suffered only minor injuries. Police have opened an investigation.