People injured in cable car crash

Two gondolas collided on the mountain range

Up to eight people have been injured after a collision between two cable cars at the Nevis Range near Fort William in north west Scotland.

The RAF said between five and eight people had been hurt. A child is said to be among the injured.

A reporter at the scene said one car near the top of the mountain had slid down a cable, hitting another. One of the cars fell to the ground.

The system is at a standstill, trapping other people in stationary cars.

The Doppelmayr gondola system is made up of 80 six-seat closed cabins running on a continuous 4.6km steel cable.

They carry mountain bikers, climbers, walkers, paraglider and hanglider enthusiasts from 300ft up to 2,150ft on the north face of Aonach Mor, Britain's eighth highest mountain.

Aonach Mor is one of the highest mountains in Britain.

Two RAF helicopters, an air ambulance, four ambulance crews, police, fire brigade and a mountain rescue team were sent to the scene.

RAF spokesman Michael Mulford said between five and eight people were reported injured, some seriously.

"First reports suggest several broken legs, head injuries, chest injuries," he said.

"The real challenge is to get medical help up there as fast as possible.

"I think we're talking potentially up to something like 24, 27 hundred feet, something just under 3,000ft, which is fairly high up."

'Complete standstill'

Reporter Ian Ferguson, talking to BBC Scotland from Aonach Mor, said the accident happened near the top of the gondola system and the fall to the ground was "not very great".

One of the cars had slid back down the cable, colliding with the other at Tower 14.

Mr Ferguson continued: "The whole gondola line is now at a complete standstill.

"Anyone in the gondolas are trapped until it starts moving again. Iżve been to emergency excercises here before and people are told to stay in the gondolas and not to move.

"Staff will slide down the main cable, land on top of the gondolas, prise the door open and put in an emergency rope ladder to get people out.

"The mountain rescue team will also take part in that as well. But that process wonżt start until the casualties up the hill have been dealt with."

The mountain did not appear particularly busy, he added.

The journey up and down the mountain takes between 12 and 15 minutes each way.

The system is the only one of its kind in Britain and was originally built to transport skiers up Aonach Mor.