Battagram Cable Car Incident: 8 Passengers Successfully Rescued After Day-Long Operation

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All eight passengers who were trapped in a cable car in Allai Tehsil of Battagram, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have been successfully rescued after a rescue operation that lasted for 14 hours. The rescue was carried out jointly by Rescue 1122, the military, and the local authorities. The rescue operation was hailed as a great example of teamwork by Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar.

The incident occurred in the early morning when six students and two locals were on their way to school. The cable car was stuck in the middle of a deep ravine surrounded by mountains and a rocky surface, along with the Jhangri River. Initially, it was estimated that the passengers were stuck at a height of 1,000-2,000ft, but it was later clarified that they were actually stranded at a height of 600ft.

The rescue operation began in the morning but faced challenges due to rough weather conditions. Two children were successfully rescued before sunset, and a total of five children were rescued after more than 12 hours of rescue efforts. The operation involved the use of helicopters and a sling operation, where rescuers were suspended with a sling to approach the affected site and hoist the stranded passengers to safety.

The rescue mission faced various impediments, including gusty winds and the risk of destabilizing the lift. However, the armed forces, along with zipline experts, civil and military authorities, and local cable operators, worked tirelessly to ensure the safe rescue of all trapped passengers.

The successful operation was described as extremely complicated and difficult by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The Pakistan Army Aviation and Special Service Group (SSG) played a crucial role in the operation, along with support from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) helicopters. The sling team of the SSG, PAF, local administration, and cable crossing experts proved their mettle, making the rescue possible.

During the operation, the stranded passengers were provided with belts, food, and drinks via a small chairlift dolly. The caretaker Prime Minister directed all relevant authorities to utilize all resources for the rescue operation and ensure the safety of chairlifts in hilly areas.

This incident highlights the importance of maintaining and ensuring the safety of cable cars and chairlifts in hilly terrains, especially in areas where there is a lack of road infrastructure. The incident also serves as a reminder of the dedication and bravery of the rescue teams who work tirelessly to save lives in challenging circumstances.

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