A baby has survived a 100ft plunge from a cable car in the Alps – because she was tucked up in a rucksack.
The accident killed both her parents but the one-year-old orphan is expected to survive serious injuries.
A major investigation into why the family were using the cable car designed only for freight is now under way and one mountain worker is under arrest.
The family – mother 31, father 38 and the baby – were out on the Baerlaui mountain in the central Swiss canton of Schweiz for an afternoon hike when they decided to descend the 2,700 feet to the valley using the cable-car reserved for freight.
Suddenly, just after starting, there was a sudden lurch which tipped all three out on to rocks nearly 100 feet below.
Mother and father died instantly from head wounds but rescuers at the scene heard whimpering from a rucksack in tree branches near the bodies.
It was the baby, severely hurt but alive.
‘The rucksack cushioned the fall,’ said a rescue spokesman. ‘Otherwise she would be dead too.’
Two dozen rescue crews using helicopters and all-terrain vehicles were on the scene within 30 minutes of the crash.
Authorities said the man – a Swiss native who lived with his Canadian wife abroad – had returned with his family for a holiday in the region.
But Florian Grossmann, spokesman for the local police, said; ‘The cable-car is not for passenger use. It is a freight vehicle that was being used on the day of the accident by an employee of the area.
‘We are investigating how they came to be aboard and why.’