Pakistan rescuers try to free schoolkids trapped in a cable car hundreds of feet up

Six children and two adults got trapped in a cable car hundreds of feet above the ground in a remote part of Pakistan after the car broke, leading to a delicate rescue operation.

The incident: The eight people were crossing a river canyon in the Battagram district when one of the cables of the car snapped, leaving them suspended 350 meters (1,150 feet) above ground for six hours before helicopters arrived for rescue.
* The children, aged between 11 and 15, were on their way to school, showing how cable cars are crucial transportation in Pakistan’s mountainous regions.
* Despite being commonly used, these cable cars are often poorly maintained, leading to yearly accidents.

Rescue operation: This rescue mission has drawn significant attention across Pakistan, with helicopters trying to lower rescuers onto the car.
* The operation is particularly tricky as the wind from the helicopters could weaken the already broken cables further.
* Authorities reported that the trapped adults were comforting the frightened kids and some were able to contact their families via mobile phones.

Authorities’ response: Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister, has ordered to perform safety inspections for all private chairlifts in the country.
* He also directed authorities to “urgently ensure safe rescue and evacuation of the 8 people”.

Concerns raised: A retired army brigadier and defense expert, Tipu Sultan, warned the helicopters could aggravate the situation, but assured that the commandos are aware of the risk.
* Khan, a spokesman for the disaster management authority, stated that the pilots were flying “carefully” to avoid any further complications.

View original article on NPR

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