UPDATE - Rescue operation continues after students stuck in cable car dangling over Pakistan ravine

UPDATE - Rescue operation continues after students stuck in cable car dangling over Pakistan ravine

Footage aired on local media shows helicopter hovering above cable car with army commando trying to reach stranded passengers with rope


By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - The Pakistani army airdropped food and water to the stranded students in a cable car dangling over a ravine in northwestern Pakistan as rescuers are struggling to rescue the trapped people.

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.

Two of the schoolchildren are unconscious, and immediately require medical aid, Gul Faraz, one of the trapped passengers, told local broadcaster Geo News by telephone.

Pakistani army's commandoes backed by three helicopters are taking part in the delicate operation as gusty winds are hindering the rescue efforts, Khewa Gul, a local administration official told reporters.

"Operation needs to be completed before sunset otherwise it will be very difficult to save the trapped passengers," he apprehended.

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.

Rescuers have had a difficult time rescuing the stuck passengers due to heavy winds and height.

Earlier, 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 known as "doli" is privately run by residents for transportation across a local river as there are no roads or bridges in the area.

*Riyaz ul Khaliq in Istanbul contributed to this story

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