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Rescuers evacuate 1,200 skiers from Spain resort
by Staff Writers
Madrid (AFP) Jan 03, 2013


Rescuers on Thursday evacuated the last of 1,200 skiers trapped by strong winds a day earlier on the slopes of a resort in the Spanish Pyrenees.

Winds gusting up to 110 kph (68 mph) forced the Panticosa ski resort to stop the ski-lifts on Wednesday afternoon, stranding holidaymakers on the mountain.

"At 9:29 am (0829 GMT) the evacuation of skiers at the Panticosa ski resort was ended after the arrival at the cable-car base of the last group that was being transferred," said Aramon, a group managing most of the ski resorts in the northern Aragon region.

"There have been no notable incidents apart from understandable tiredness after hours of waiting," it said in a statement.

During the night, Spanish police, rescuers and resort staff worked to bring down skiers stranded in a cafeteria high up in the resort since the ski-lifts stopped at 3:00 pm, they said.

Skiers were taken down in small groups in snow grooming machines to a more accessible area below the snowline and then transported in all-terrain vehicles to the town of Hoz de Jaca and finally to the Panticosa resort base.

Some of the more expert skiers were able to ski down.

The resort was closed Thursday to check its installations following the bad weather.

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