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Säntisbahn cable car damaged by avalanche

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Mountain Technology,

As reported by The Local, an avalanche has severely damaged the Säntisbahn cable car in eastern Switzerland.

A supporting pillar was hit on 13 January, leading operators to say that it could be potentially months before it can be used by the public again.

Bruno Vattioni, Managing Director of the Säntisbahn, said that the economic impact could not be calculated yet, but none of the company’s 180 employees are set to be laid off.

This was the second avalanche in a matter of days in the Schwägalp area, which is at the foot of the Säntis mountain in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.

On 10 January, three people were treated for minor injuries after a 300-m wide avalanche hit the restaurant of the Hotel Säntis.

As much as 1.5 m of snow had fallen in the time between the two avalanches.

In response, the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research raised avalanche warnings to their highest level across a large swathe of the Swiss Alps. The risk has subsequently dropped but, as shown by the recent deaths of a Swedish skier and a ski patroller in Valais, conditions across much of the Alps in Switzerland, as well as others parts of Europe, remain dangerous.

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