The Latest: Rail service resumes from snowbound Swiss town - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

The Latest: Rail service resumes from snowbound Swiss town

Posted: Updated:
(Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). Support staff handle baggage of tourists at the heliport of Air Zermatt for an airlift into the valley to Raron, in Zermatt, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be reach... (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). Support staff handle baggage of tourists at the heliport of Air Zermatt for an airlift into the valley to Raron, in Zermatt, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be reach...
(Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). Snow covers the roofs of houses in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be reached by air. Swiss authorities have closed roads and train service int... (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). Snow covers the roofs of houses in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be reached by air. Swiss authorities have closed roads and train service int...
(Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). A digger is cleaning the snow off the road in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. Officials in the town at the foot of Switzerland's famed Matterhorn, background, are resuming helicopter flights to ferry ... (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). A digger is cleaning the snow off the road in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. Officials in the town at the foot of Switzerland's famed Matterhorn, background, are resuming helicopter flights to ferry ...
(Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). View over the village with an avalanche on the right overrunning a tunnel of the train track in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be reached by ... (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). View over the village with an avalanche on the right overrunning a tunnel of the train track in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be reached by ...
(Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). Tourists wait in line at the heliport of Air Zermatt for a flight by airlift into the valley to Raron, in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be r... (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP). Tourists wait in line at the heliport of Air Zermatt for a flight by airlift into the valley to Raron, in Zermatt, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Due to heavy snowfall and rain showers, Zermatt can only be r...

ZERMATT, Switzerland (AP) - The Latest on the thousands of tourists stranded in the Swiss ski town of Zermatt, near the Matterhorn (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

A train packed with tourists has begun the descent from a snowbound town near Switzerland's Matterhorn as railway service resumed following a nearly two-day suspension due to avalanche risks.

Passenger cars with a capacity of 250 set off from Zermatt station after teams cleared huge snowdrifts from the more than 1 meter (39 inches) of snow that blanketed the region, coating railways and roads and leaving some 13,000 tourists stranded.

The Zermatt tourism office said Wednesday: "After being cut off for almost two days, Zermatt can now be accessed by train again." It said teams were working "as a matter of urgency" to try to open roads to Zermatt.

The move came as Switzerland's avalanche institute, SLF, lowered the avalanche risk from the highest level, five, to four earlier Wednesday.

___

10:45 a.m.

Train service to a snowbound ski town at the foot of Switzerland's famed Matterhorn is remaining suspended for a while longer.

The Zermatt tourism office initially said a rail line from the town was due to partially reopen Wednesday. It then said the line would remain closed at least until the afternoon.

The revised timetable came after helicopter crews spotted a new snow mass left over from an avalanche days earlier.

Helicopter teams were also deploying to trigger controlled avalanches to release snow buildup after more than 1 meter (39 inches) of snow fell in some parts of the region in 24 hours.

Frank Techel, an avalanche forecaster at Swiss avalanche research institute SLF, said that roughly 3-4 meters (about 10-13 feet) of snow had been dumped on the Zermatt area so far this year, which he called an "extraordinary" amount for the region in such a short span.

___

9:50 a.m.

Officials in a town at the foot of Switzerland's famed Matterhorn are resuming helicopter flights to ferry out stranded tourists amid efforts to open roads and rail lines that have been closed due to heavy snowfall and an elevated avalanche risk.

The rail line from the town of Zermatt is also due to partially reopen later Wednesday.

A police official in Zermatt, who was not authorized to give his name, said an estimated 300 to 400 people flew out the day before, when some 13,000 tourists were unable to leave by road or rail.

Local officials said no lives are in danger and the situation is calm, with cafes open and many streets clear.

Helicopter teams were also deploying to trigger controlled avalanches to release snow buildup after more than 1 meter (39 inches) of snow fell in some parts of the region in 24 hours.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
Fox 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KVVU Broadcasting Corporation, Las Vegas, NV and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.