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Swiss Gondola Victims Were Evacuating Mountain

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Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Dec. 29–The victims ofa gondola accident at Crans-Montana in southwestern Switzerland were beingevacuated from the mountain when a tree toppled by high winds knocked theircabin off its cable. Hurricane-force winds had prompted operators to shutdown the new, eight-passenger gondola, which was then reopened after windsdied down to take stranded skiers and snowboarders off the mountain.

The latest reports indicate that six people were in the gondola and that a13-year-old boy died at the scene. The second victim, a woman aged 18, diedduring a helicopter transfer to a hospital. The four other passengers wereall seriously injured. The storm had claimed more than 100 lives acrosssouthern England, France, Germany and Switzerland by last night andresulted in widespread losses of electricity and railway closures.