Pakistan: All 8 trapped in cable car stranded over ravine rescued

The caretaker PM posted on X that all eight had been rescued after a harrowing day

By Agencies

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 22 Aug 2023, 5:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Aug 2023, 10:20 PM

All of the kids have been rescued from a stranded cable car in Pakistan, said caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

A video shared by a rescue agency official showed more than a dozen rescuers and locals lined up near the edge of the dark ravine, pulling on a cable until a boy attached to it by a harness reached the hillside safely to cries of "God is great".

Residents said community members from surrounding areas who had experience rescuing people this way had also arrived.

The cable car became stranded half way across a ravine, about 275 metres above the ground, and was dangling by a single cable after the other snapped.

The rescue effort has transfixed the country, with Pakistanis crowded around television sets, as local media showed footage of an emergency worker dangling from a helicopter cable close to the small cabin, with those onboard cramped together.

Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, wrote on X that he ordered authorities “to urgently ensure safe rescue and evacuation of the 8 people.”

“I have also directed the authorities to conduct safety inspections of all such private chairlifts and ensure that they are safe to operate and use,” he said on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Villagers frequently use cable cars to get around Pakistan’s mountainous regions. But the cars are often poorly maintained and every year people die or are injured while travelling in them.

Crowds of villagers gathered on the hillside anxiously watching the operation.

Muzaffar Khan, a district administration official in Battagram, said there were seven students and one teacher aboard, updating from the earlier reported six students and two teachers.

In 2017, 10 people were killed when a cable car fell into a ravine hundreds of meters (feet) deep in the popular mountain resort of Murree after its cable broke.


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