'Air bridge' for tourists resumes in snowbound Swiss town

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.

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Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.