Four children rescued from stranded Pakistan cable car amid race to save others
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Four children have been rescued from a chairlift dangling 900 feet over a mountainous region in Pakistan for at least 10 hours, a military source told CNN, as the race to save two other children and two adults stuck inside the cable car continued Tuesday.
The children were traveling to school in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when one of the chairlift’s cables snapped at 8:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Tanveer Ur Rehman, deputy commissioner of Battagram district, said.
The chairlift had done multiple trips on Tuesday before the cable snapped, Ur Rehman added.
Strong winds had thwarted earlier attempts to reach the chairlift, Ur Rehman said.
A video released by the rescue services earlier showed a large crowd gathered on the mountainside, watching as a Special Services officer was lowered from the helicopter toward the stricken chairlift, which hung at a steep angle.
Two of the students on the chairlift were reportedly slipping in and out of consciousness, one of the passengers told Pakistani media outlet Geo News earlier. The passenger, named only as Gulfaraz, had urged state authorities to take action. He said that the students, aged between 10 and 15 years old, didn’t even have drinking water.
Rescue personnel gave the passengers nausea medication following reports of children vomiting, Ur Rehman said, adding that those trapped were also given heart related medication.
Previously, a local government official said eight children were trapped with the adults at a height of 1,200 feet (365 meters).
The chairlift connects two communities in the region and runs on two cables, one of which snapped, according to rescue official, Bilal Ahmad Faizi.
Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar ordered all “dilapidated and non-compliant chairlifts” to close immediately, according to a statement from his office.
Many children who live in remote and mountainous parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province rely on cable cars to ferry them to school and back. Some of these lack regular maintenance and can be a risky form of travel.