Video: Hundreds of skiers rescued from cable cars after high winds bring tree down on wire

No one was injured in the successful evacuation

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of skiers had to be rescued from their cable gondolas in northern Italy after strong winds brought a tree crashing into the connecting wire.

Rescue teams scrambled to save nearly 200 skiers trapped inside the gondolas amid fears that the cables could snap after a 100ft fir tree was blown onto the line by high winds.

The tourists, enjoying the northern Italian resort in Val Gardena, were evacuated from 20 gondolas by 100 local emergency response individuals.

The trapped holiday-makers were either airlifted directly out of their gondolas or rescuers climbed onto the cars and attached ropes, allowing the skiers to abseil to safety.

“We were really lucky. We’d just gone up, the cabin was already closed and ready to go but a staff member noticed the tree and stopped everything,” one skier told the BBC.

No one was injured in the evacuation.

Northern Italy has been plagued by strong weather, with 80mph winds recorded in the resort. Two people have died as a result of the weather, with one man killed in a car accident and a woman crushed by a falling tree in Urbanio, in the Emilia Romagna region.