The cable cars collapse on the slope of the French mountain while the fire engulfs the chairlift in the French Alps

Clouds of smoke billowing from the mountain were visible from 20 miles away, but no one was hurt in hell

The cable cars collapse towards the slope of the mountain while the fire surrounds the ski lift in the French Alps and MELTS the support wires

  • Inferno explodes at 6,400 feet in Grands Montets in the Chamonix Valley
  • Lifting cables melted when cabins capable of carrying 60 people crashed into the complex
  • Clouds of smoke billowing from the mountain were visible from 20 miles away

Alexandra Williams in Geneva for Mailonline

The fire has engulfed a famous ski area in the French Alps after a hell exploded at 6,400 feet.

There was extensive damage to the structure of the ski lifts and buildings at Grands Montets in the Chamonix valley, a popular destination for British skiers and hikers.

The lifting cables melted when they sent passenger cabins capable of carrying 60 people crashing into the mountainside.

The area had been closed to the public while the maintenance work was being carried out.

The fire started just before 2:00 p.m. in the Lognan building that houses warehouses, restaurants, toilets and a lift station that gives people access to the base station in the town of Argentiere or to Grands Montets at an altitude of 10,700 feet.

Clouds of smoke billowing from the mountain were visible 20 miles away. The lift is owned by Compagnie du Mont Blanc. Its president, Mathieu Dechavanne, described the fire as "a big and big disaster."

Clouds of smoke billowing from the mountain were visible from 20 miles away, but no one was hurt in hell

Clouds of smoke billowing from the mountain were visible from 20 miles away, but no one was hurt in hell

The fire rages in the complex, where a hell broke out in the complex, which is popular with British tourists

The fire rages in the complex, where a hell broke out in the complex, which is popular with British tourists

The fire rages in the complex, where a hell broke out in the complex, which is popular with British tourists

"An external company was working for us in the buildings," he said. "A fire broke out under the roof in the Lognan building at an altitude of 2000 meters.

"The fire quickly took hold and moved towards the elevator building, no one has been injured, which is good news, it's a big and big disaster."

He said the repairs would last for many months & # 39; and that it would be necessary to change the load cables and replace the cable cars affected by the flames.

A helicopter of the gendarmerie and a private helicopter hired by the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc was mobilized to throw water on the fire.

All the workers on the site were evacuated and also the personnel at the base station and the residents of the houses near the lifting cables. The elevators of Grands Montets transport 600,000 passengers per year.

The fire marks the second incident related to the uprising in Chamonix this year. The Aiguille du Midi cable car closed in July after a faulty cable was discovered. Ends

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