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Stuck in a Cable Car: Dramatic Rescue Operation for Two Adults and Six Children in Pakistan


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Cable Car Malfunction Leaves Passengers Trapped in Pakistan

A cable car carrying two adults and six children became stuck hundreds of meters above the ground in a remote part of Pakistan on Tuesday due to a malfunction, leaving passengers trapped for hours before rescue workers were sent in by helicopter to try to rescue them.

Delicate Rescue Operation

Army commandos can be seen on local television trying to lower themselves on ropes from helicopters onto a cable car. One expert warned that the rescue operation was very delicate because the winds created by the helicopter blades could weaken the cables holding the vehicle aloft.

Concerned Relatives and Nationwide Attention

Relatives of the besieged arrived, anxiously watching the operation. The rescue also hit Pakistanis across the country who crowded around televisions in offices, shops, restaurants, and hospitals.

Trapped Passengers and Poor Maintenance

According to Pakistani television stations, some of those trapped were in contact with their families via cell phone, while the authorities said the two adults were comforting the children, who ranged in age from 11 to 15. One of the cables snapped while the eight people were crossing a river valley in Pattagram district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The children were on their way to school, and the villagers often used the cable car to get around the mountainous regions of Pakistan. But cars are often poorly maintained, and every year people die or are injured while traveling in them.

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Long Wait for Rescue

Helicopters were sent in to try to extract people from the cable car — but only after the group had spent six hours hanging precariously 350 meters (1,150 feet) above the ground, according to Taimoor Khan, a spokesman for the disaster management agency.

Government Intervention and Safety Inspections

Pakistan’s interim prime minister, Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he had ordered the authorities to “urgently ensure the rescue and safe evacuation of the eight persons.” He also directed the authorities to carry out safety inspections of all these private elevators and ensure that they are safe to operate and use.

Expert Opinions and Prayers for Safe Rescue

Several helicopters flew overhead and ambulances gathered on the ground. Tipu Sultan, a retired army brigadier general and defense expert, warned that the helicopters themselves could make the situation worse, but the commandos would be well aware of this danger. Khan added that the pilots were flying “cautiously”. “Let us pray that those trapped in the cable car can be safely rescued,” Sultan said.

Past Incidents Highlight the Risk

In 2017, 10 people were killed when a cable car fell into a deep ravine hundreds of meters deep in the popular mountain resort of Moree after its cable snapped.

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