45 tourists trapped for the night over Mont Blanc

Rescue operation suspended until morning due to poor conditions

Forty-five tourists are stuck in cable cars over Mont Blanc and will not be rescued until morning because of darkness and poor weather.

A total of 110 people had become trapped as they rode the Vallee Blanche Cable Car in the Alps at about 4pm on Thursday afternoon, but rescuers have only managed to evacuate 65 of them by helicopter so far.

The attraction rises to an altitude of 3,778m and offers close-up views of Western Europe's tallest mountains, as well as the steep glaciers and valleys found below.

The regional Le Dauphine newspaper reports that the rescue operation has been suspended for safety reasons - however, those still trapped have been given water, food and survival blankets.

Rescuers are also going to stay inside the cabins to reassure affected holidaymakers throughout the night. Mathieu Dechavanne, the chief executive of the company that operates the attraction, said the cabins became stuck after overhead cables crossed over for "unknown reasons".