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Snow-trapped tourists rescued

World | Jan 12, 2018
Trains began running again in the Zermatt ski station yesterday after crews dug through mounds of snow blocking the tracks, offering relief to thousands of tourists stranded at the popular Swiss resort.

Over the past two days, more than a thousand people have been airlifted out of the resort which lies at the foot of the Matterhorn after heavy snowfall cut off road and rail links.

Zermatt's tourism office said trains to the nearby village of Taesch resumed at 5:15 pm despite efforts to get the service up and running in the morning.

"After almost two days that Zermatt was cut off from the rest of the world, the destination is now reachable by train," it said.

Excavators had been hard at work around a tunnel between Zermatt and Taesch, which lies about six kilometers away and serves as a gateway to the Matterhorn region. Onward rail connections out of Taesch remain blocked, but replacement buses are running.

An official with Air Zermatt said more than 600 people had been airlifted out by helicopter on Tuesday with several hundred more flown out yesterday.

With the trains still blocked, large queues had built up at the resort's helipad.

Zermatt, where cars are not allowed to circulate, can accommodate about 13,000 visitors at a time. The resort had been at near capacity during the travel disruptions, although not everyone was trying to leave.


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October 2018