15 Aug 2011

Cable car occupants rescued

8:22 am on 15 August 2011

Helicopters plucked to safety 20 people stranded in mid-air on a cable car in southern Germany on Saturday after a paraglider collided with the cables the day before.

The 19 passengers and conductor were brought to safety after spending 18 hours suspended 80 metres above the ground at Mt Tegelberg in Bavaria.

Most of them were Germans and east Europeans. They ranged in age from four to 75.

Rescuers supplied food and blankets, and toys for six children aboard, while waiting for strong winds to die down.

They also freed the paraglider and his tandem passenger.

The BBC reports the evacuation began on Saturday morning, requiring nine helicopter flights over two hours.

Mt Tegelberg is close to the castle of Neuschwanstein, one of the country's top visitor attractions.