Battagram chairlift incident: All 8 rescued from dangling cable car in daring operation

In a daring and dramatic rescue operation, all eight people, including six children, have been successfully rescued.

They were trapped when a chairlift suspended precariously 900 feet above the rugged terrain of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, snapped its cable, leaving them stranded for hours.

At least six children and two teachers are trapped in a gondola dangling 274 metres (900ft) in Allai Tehsil in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Battagram region, according to local media.

The incident has left residents shaken and concerned for the safety of their children.

The incident unfolded on Tuesday morning when the children, who were en route to school, were suddenly stranded mid-air as the cable car halted abruptly around 7am PST on August 22.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that two army helicopters had been dispatched for a rescue operation after attempts at fixing the cable car fault had been unsuccessful.

Rescue mission

Facing strong gusts of wind that initially hindered their efforts, rescue teams worked tirelessly to reach the stricken cable car.

Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) officer was heroically lowered from a helicopter toward the precarious contraption, as a crowd watched anxiously from the mountainside.

In a dramatic twist, hours after the incident occurred, at least two of the children were successfully rescued by security forces by 7pm, local media reported.

Army helicopters and a zip line were used to rescue all eight people during the hours-long mission.

Pakistan’s caretaker Prime MinisterAnwar-ul-Haq Kakar, swiftly reacted to the incident, ordering the immediate closure of “dilapidated and non-compliant chairlifts” to prevent further tragedies.

Risks exposed

The cable car in Battagram is a lifeline for around 400 to 500 commuters daily in the mountainous region. Iy is a crucial mode of transport connecting two communities. Unfortunately, one of its cables snapped, leaving the occupants stranded and triggering widespread panic.

The accident has highlighted the perilous conditions faced by children who rely on cable cars to access education in remote and mountainous regions. Lacking regular maintenance, these essential transportation systems can become hazardous, endangering the lives of those who depend on them.

As investigations into the incident continue, calls for improved safety measures and rigorous maintenance of cable car systems gain urgency, reflecting the need to protect the lives of those who rely on these essential transport links.

Zakhia Irfan
Zakhia is a dedicated journalist who loves to read and travel. She covers all aspects of aviation and travel news for Islamabad Scene.

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