4 children rescued, 4 others trapped in cable car dangling 274m above pakistan canyon

Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar ordered a helicopter to be sent to try and rescue those trapped aboard the cable car.

Four children have been rescued in a “sling operation” from a cable car dangling 274m (900ft) over a canyon in Pakistan, rescue officials have said.

An “extremely risky” rescue effort is under way for the remaining three children and one teacher still trapped.

Emergency workers using a helicopter were attempting to free the people, who have been stuck high in the air since a cable snapped on Tuesday.

Spanning a river and connecting villages in Battagram district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the cable car is used by local villagers to shorten the distance to nearby schools, government offices and other businesses.

The children had been using the cable car to get to school but have been stranded since 7am local time (3am UK).

Taimoor Khan, a spokesman for the disaster management authority, said a helicopter was dispatched to the site on orders by the prime minister to try and pluck them out of the cable car.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said he has told the authorities to check the safety of all private cable cars.

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority said in a statement that a cable had broken in the lift service and attempts at fixing the fault had been unsuccessful.

One security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said special services troops, trained in sling operations, are involved in this “extremely dangerous and risky operation”.

The chairlift accident in Battagram, KP is really alarming. I have directed the NDMA, PDMA and district authorities to urgently ensure safe rescue and evacuation of the 8 people stuck in the chairlift.
I have also directed the authorities to conduct safety inspections of all such…

— Anwaar ul Haq Kakar (@anwaar_kakar) August 22, 2023

A picture of the cable car shows the compartment suspended high over the canyon, listing significantly to one side.

A rescue official said one child fainted “due to heat and fear”.

Two army helicopters have been dispatched to the scene but the rescue mission is complicated due to gusty winds in the area and the fact the helicopters’ rotor blades risk further destabilising the lift, he said.

Ghulamullah, chairman of the Allai valley told Geo News that “every time the helicopter lowered the rescuer closer to the chairlift the wind from the helicopter would shake and disbalance”.

He said it would make the children trapped inside “scream in fear”.

Other local officials expressed concern the wind could make the supporting chain “snap”.

Army commandos could be seen on local TV trying to lower themselves on ropes from the choppers toward the gondola.

The incident comes several years after 10 people were killed when a cable car lift installed by local villagers in the popular mountain resort of Murree broke and fell into a ravine hundreds of feet deep in 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *