The rescue is incredibly delicate because the wind created by the helicopters’ blades could weaken cables holding the car aloft.
Tuesday, August 22, 2023 1:14PM
BATTAGRAM, Pakistan — An urgent rescue operation is underway to save two adults and six children who were left dangling 900 feet above the ground in a chairlift when a cable broke in a mountainous region in Pakistan, authorities say.
Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority said that they were working with the Pakistan Army and that a helicopter has been dispatched to the site of the rescue operation in Battagram, approximately 120 miles north of the country’s capital city of Islamabad.
The condition of the eight people inside the chairlift is currently unknown.
The helicopter has has been flying over the cable car and it appears someone was lowered down from the helicopter to reach the stranded passengers. An expert warned the rescue was incredibly delicate because the wind created by the helicopters’ blades could further weaken cables holding the car aloft.
The broken down cable car is reportedly used daily and takes students to school in the remote region of Pakistan.
Relatives of those trapped prayed while anxiously watching the operation unfold. According to Pakistani TV stations, some of those trapped were in contact with their families by cell phone, while authorities said the two adults were consoling the children, who were between the ages of 11 and 15.
One of the cables snapped while the eight people were crossing a river canyon in Battagram district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The children had been on their way to school, and 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 traveling in them.
In 2017, 10 people were killed when a cable car fell into a ravine hundreds of feet deep in the popular mountain resort of Murree after its cable broke.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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