Eight Individuals Rescued from Precarious Cable Car Situation Above a Canyon in Pakistan

by Lucas Garcia

On Tuesday, in a remote mountainous region of Pakistan, army commandos, with the aid of helicopters and an improvised chairlift, conducted a successful rescue of eight individuals trapped in a malfunctioning cable car. Suspended several hundred meters above a canyon, the cable car broke down in the Battagram district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, authorities have reported.

Earlier that day, six children and two adults were caught in the perilous situation when a cable gave way as they crossed a river canyon. The children were en route to their school at the time.

The nation’s caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, expressed his congratulations and relief to the military and other rescuers involved in the operation. This riveting endeavor held the attention of the entire country, as Pakistanis gathered around televisions in various public places, anxiously watching the progress.

Kakar, expressing his gratitude through X, the service previously recognized as Twitter, said, “Great teamwork by the military, rescue departments, district administration as well as the local people, all the kids have been successfully and safely rescued.”

As sunset approached, and helicopters were unable to continue flying, the rescue operation shifted to a more precarious approach. It involved utilizing the remaining intact cable to reach the stranded car with a chairlift.

The military, in a formal statement, highlighted the delicate nature of the operation, involving commandos, army and air force pilots, and local authorities’ support.

Television broadcasts displayed images of a child, securely harnessed, being pulled to safety, with the commandos’ ropes visibly swaying against the mountainous backdrop. Experts described the rescue as extremely fragile, as the wind from the helicopter blades could potentially weaken the remaining cables further.

Emotions ran high as the rescued children were returned to their families, with many overcome by tears, as described by Nazir Ahmed, a high-ranking police officer present at the rescue site. He recounted the jubilation and gratitude among villagers towards the rescuers once the operation was concluded.

State-run emergency service spokesperson Bilal Faizi disclosed that food and water were provided to those trapped earlier in the day. Pakistani TV stations reported that some of the trapped individuals stayed in contact with their families via cellphones, while the adults worked to comfort the children, aged between 11 and 15.

In Pakistan’s mountainous regions, villagers often rely on cable cars, which are frequently in poor condition, resulting in annual fatalities and injuries.

In response to the incident, Prime Minister Kakar ordered the inspection of the country’s cable cars and chairlifts for safety.

Helicopters were dispatched to attempt a rescue, but only after the group had remained suspended precariously 350 meters (1,150 feet) above the ground for six hours, according to Taimoor Khan, a spokesperson for the disaster management authority.

Retired army brigadier and defense expert Tipu Sultan warned of the helicopters’ potential risk, but acknowledged the commandos’ awareness of such dangers.

This incident evokes memories of a 2017 tragedy when ten individuals lost their lives as a cable car plummeted into a deep ravine in the popular mountain resort of Murree due to a broken cable.

Reporting was conducted by Ahmed from Islamabad.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about rescue-operation

Where did the cable car rescue operation take place?

The rescue operation took place in a remote mountainous part of Pakistan, specifically in the Battagram district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Who were the individuals rescued from the cable car?

Eight people were rescued, including six children who were on their way to school and two adults.

How were the individuals rescued from the dangling cable car?

Army commandos used helicopters and a makeshift chairlift to reach the stranded cable car, executing a delicate rescue operation.

What caused the cable car to be stranded?

The cable car became stranded when a cable snapped while it was crossing a river canyon.

Who was involved in the rescue operation?

The rescue operation involved army commandos, pilots from the army and air force, local authorities, and the support of local people.

What did the Caretaker Prime Minister say about the rescue?

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar congratulated the military and other rescuers, expressing relief that all the children had been successfully and safely rescued.

Were there any challenges faced during the rescue?

Yes, helicopters could not fly after sunset, leading to a shift to a risky operation that used an intact cable and chairlift. The wind generated by the helicopter blades also posed a risk of further weakening the remaining cables.

Have there been previous accidents with cable cars in Pakistan?

Yes, in 2017, 10 people were killed when a cable car fell into a ravine in the popular mountain resort of Murree after its cable broke. Cable cars in Pakistan’s mountainous regions are often poorly maintained, leading to injuries and fatalities.

What measures have been taken following the rescue?

Caretaker Prime Minister Kakar ordered safety inspections of the country’s cable cars and chairlifts in response to the incident.

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Simon_T August 22, 2023 - 11:27 pm

There should be more regulations for those cable cars. Every year people die or are injured while traveling in them, something needs to change! Safety first.

Kathy92 August 23, 2023 - 2:58 am

Great team work all around, from the military to the locals. It shows what can be achieved when people come together. But why did it take 6 hours to start the rescue?

MaryS August 23, 2023 - 10:23 am

thats a terrifying experience for those kids. Can you imagine being trapped like that on your way to school? Glad everyones okay.

JohnDoe August 23, 2023 - 6:28 pm

Incredible story, these commandos are real heroes! I cant believe what they pulled off. Risking their lives to save others, hats off to them.

JeremyR August 23, 2023 - 7:46 pm

this kind of stories makes me proud to be human, We see a lot of negativity in the world but there’s a lot of good too. those commandos and everyone involved are the best of us.


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