Pakistan’s special forces carried out a daring rescue operation to save six children and two adults who were trapped in a broken cable car in the Pakhtunkhwa province. The cable car was dangling 900 feet above the ground, putting the lives of the passengers at risk.
Five of the children were successfully rescued, with two being airlifted to safety using a helicopter. The remaining three were rescued after airborne operations had to be halted due to darkness. Floodlights were installed to facilitate a ground-based rescue that took more than 12 hours to complete.
The rescue mission was highly complex and dangerous due to strong winds in the area and the risk of destabilizing the cable car further with the helicopter’s rotor blades. Footage from the scene showed soldiers hanging from a sling as they attempted to reach more trapped individuals.
The incident occurred as the children were on their way to school in a mountainous area in Battagram, located 124 miles north of Islamabad. Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar ordered authorities to deploy all available resources to expedite the rescue operation.
Chairlifts are commonly used by villagers in Pakistan’s mountainous regions for short-distance travel. However, poorly maintained chairlifts often lead to injuries and fatalities. In 2017, a cable car lift in the popular mountain resort of Murree broke and fell into a deep ravine, resulting in the death of ten people.
Sources: AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters