A group of six children and two adults found themselves in a harrowing situation. As they clung to a ruptured cable car. Cable was suspended hundreds of feet above the ground in Pakistan’s mountainous Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Battling anxiety, nausea, and fear, they faced a 14-hour ordeal that tested their endurance and resilience.
The cable car is a vital mode of transport for villagers. It is used for commuting between the communities of Batangi and Jhangri in the Battagram district. It unexpectedly turned into a life-threatening scenario when one of its cables snapped. The passengers were mostly children on their way to school. They were left dangling around 900 feet above a valley, their lives hanging in the balance.
Local authorities sprang into action, orchestrating a remarkable rescue operation despite challenging weather conditions. Pakistan’s armed forces took charge of the mission, deploying helicopters and a zip line to safely retrieve the trapped passengers. The rescue was further complicated by strong winds, which posed risks to both the passengers and the rescue teams.
One by one, the passengers were rescued from their perilous situation. Helicopters swooped down to airlift a child . While others were guided to safety via a zip line, even as darkness descended. Dramatic footage captured the heart-pounding moment when a child clung to a rope dangling from a helicopter.
During the grueling wait for help, the passengers endured physical discomfort, with reports of nausea and children vomiting. Some of the passengers were slipping in and out of consciousness. Due to the ordeal and the lack of resources, including drinking water.
The successful rescue operation was met with relief and celebration across Pakistan. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar expressed gratitude for the collaboration between the military, rescue teams, district administration, and local residents, highlighting their collective effort in saving lives.
Cable cars are a common mode of transportation in the rugged terrain of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where reaching villages can be a time-consuming and challenging task due to the dense forests and difficult landscape. However, incidents like this highlight the potential dangers of relying on these cable cars, especially when maintenance and safety protocols are not adequately addressed.
Battagram district, the location of this incident, faces significant challenges in terms of poverty and lack of infrastructure. The locally-built cable cars are essential for daily activities, including accessing education and medical facilities. However, due to insufficient maintenance and compliance, these cable cars have been involved in accidents in the past, prompting calls for improved safety measures.