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Last Updated: Monday, 28 March, 2005, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Skiers stranded on lift at night
Ski lift
The resort says it will step up vigilance at closure time
Two Parisian men spent a freezing night stranded on a ski lift at Les Arcs in the French Alps after staff switched off the machinery and went home.

The men - aged 26 and 36 - were found on Sunday morning and taken to hospital. Both were later discharged.

"We had nothing to eat or drink. The weather was quite bad - rain and snow. We tried our best to stay awake and make it through the night," said one.

The men had gone up on the last lift, at a height of 1,800m (5,940ft).

The temperature dropped to -4C overnight.

French media reported that the ordeal left the men half-conscious and one was speechless.

The skiers had almost reached the top of the piste when the lift stopped running.

The French daily Le Figaro said an inquiry by staff at the resort indicated that a numerical mistake was to blame.

Resort director Damien Comandon was quoted as saying the lift operator at the bottom had told his colleague at the top that the last occupied chair was number 80, instead of 90.

"This mistake led the lift watchman to shut the system down while an occupied chair was still waiting out of sight, several dozen metres below," he said.

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