UPDATE 2 - 2 children rescued from stranded cable car dangling over ravine in NW Pakistan

UPDATE 2 - 2 children rescued from stranded cable car dangling over ravine in NW Pakistan

Rescue efforts ongoing in northwestern Allai Tehsil region as 6 remain stranded on high-flying cable car


By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Army commandos rescued two of the eight stranded passengers in a cable car dangling over a ravine in northwestern Pakistan, officials and local media reported.

The children, said to be in good condition, were rescued in a helicopter sling operation using a ladder after over nine hours, a local police spokesman said.

Crowds gathered in the area cheered and clapped as the rescued children got off an army helicopter.

The rescue operation, which is being hindered by gusty winds and darkness, is underway to rescue the remaining six passengers.

At least seven schoolchildren and an adult in northwestern Pakistan were stranded in the air at 8 a.m. local time (0300GMT) on Tuesday after the wire of a cable car snapped in the Batgram district of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders neighboring Afghanistan.

Earlier, army personnel airdropped food and water to the stranded passengers.

The operation needs to be completed before sunset otherwise it will be very difficult to save the trapped passengers, Khewa Gul, a local administration official, told Geo News.

Footage aired on Geo News showed a helicopter hovering above the cable car and an army commando trying to reach the stranded passengers with a rope.

Speaking to Geo News, Mufti Gulamullah, a local official said: "Mid-air, two wires of the cable car snapped, leaving them (schoolchildren) stuck at a height of approximately 3,000 feet (approx. 914 meters)."

The locally-built cable car is privately run by residents for transportation across a river as there are no roads or bridges in the area.

*Riyaz ul Khaliq in Istanbul contributed to this story

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