Storm Eleanor leaves skiers hanging above ground in cable cars for two hours

Storm Eleanor left several British skiers fearing for their lives after their cable car became stuck hundreds of metres above ground.

One group from Cornwall were forced to wait in a lift for two hours as it was swung from side to side above mountains in Valtournenche, northern Italy, on Wednesday.

Video footage showed the cable car hanging precariously 200m above ground as some 200 skiers were made to wait for the winds to die down.

Eleanor, whose gusts have reached up to 100mph, has caused widespread disruption across the UK and Europe.

The storm derailed trains in Switzerland and Germany, as well as cutting powers to thousands of homes in France and Britain.

Tom Taylor told ITV News his family and other skiers faced "treacherous" conditions on top of one slope in Valtournenche, near the Swiss border.

Poor visibility, high winds and heavy snow forced the closure of the mountain.

But skiers were left stranded high above ground in their cable cars when the winds made it too dangerous for them to descend further.

Mr Taylor said his group was "terrified" as the car was swung "from side to side" by winds up to 75mph.

Announcements in Italian meant they were unaware what was going on until the lift began moving again.

The cable cars started and stopped "numerous" times before they made it back to ground.

At least 15 people across Europe have been injured and one person killed in the high winds.

One skier in the French Alps was killed after being hit by a falling tree in Morillon, Haute-Savoie.

Several people were injured when a train was blown off the tracks near to the Swiss capital Bern, according to local media.

And in western Germany a train also derailed when it crashed into a tree which had fallen onto the tracks.

Eleanor also forced the cancellation of flights from Zurich and Basel airports and toppled a truck on a Swiss highway.

Swiss police said several people had been stuck inside a cable car which halted in the ski resort of Pizol, with rescue teams scrabbled to help.

Scaffolding blown over by Eleanor in Paris. Credit: AP