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ALPS

Iconic Swiss mountain lights up for first train ride

Switzerland will mark the 100 years since the construction of a railway up one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, the iconic Jungfrau, with the illumination of its north face until Sunday.

Iconic Swiss mountain lights up for first train ride
Jungfrau.ch

The colours of the Swiss national flag, pictures of the Jungfrau train and the portrait of industrialist Adolf Guyer-Zeller, who founded the Jungfraubahn railway, are beamed onto the massive mountain wall.

Weather permitting, the light show which started up at an altitude of 3,800 metres will take place at least four times.

However, on New Year’s Eve it had to be cancelled because of poor weather.

With temperatures easily dropping to minus 30 degrees Celsius in winter, operators involved in the project moved three weeks’ worth of spare food up the mountain in case they got stuck.

The Jungfraujoch railway was inaugurated in 1912 after 16 years. Trains which are extremely popular with tourists carry about 700,000 people up the mountain every year.

The Jungfrau, German for maiden or virgin, peaks at 4,158 metres and is close to the Eiger whose towering north face is a major challenge for mountaineers.

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CRASH

Plane crash in Swiss Alps leaves four dead

Two Swiss and two Austrian nationals were killed on Saturday when their small plane crashed in the Swiss Alps, police said

Plane crash in Swiss Alps leaves four dead

The plane came down in the picturesque area near the Gletscherspitze peak, at an altitude of over 3,000 metres (10,000 feet), in the southern Swiss canton of Wallis, regional police said in a statement.

Wallis police said a witness had first called to report seeing the plane falling from the sky at 12:25 pm (1025 GMT), and had called back a few minutes later to say smoke was rising from the crash site.

Firefighters and rescue workers flown in by helicopter discovered that all four people onboard, two Swiss citizens aged 50 and 66 and two Austrians aged 46 and 50, had perished.

Police said they were cooperating with the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board to probe the crash.

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