After damage and risk assessment, a rescue operation is underway at the Battagram cable car incident site.
Pakistan Army Aviation helicopter and Special Service Group (SSG) personnel carry out a damage and risk assessment to conduct the rescue operation.
8 people including six children and two adults are suspended inside a cable car dangling over a deep valley, in the Allai tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Battagram since early Tuesday morning.
The cable car is dangling in the middle of a deep ravine surrounded by towering mountains and a rocky surface, along with the Jhangri River beneath it.
It’s now a race against time with sunset looming, and rain forecast in the area.
The sunset in Battagram is expected at 6:48 pm.
At the time of filing the story, the weather is mostly cloudy in the Allai tehsil of Battagram.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), in a weather update, forecast that there were thirty percent chances of rain in the next three hours in the area while they would intensify to 60pc by 10:00 pm tonight.
A team of the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) is reported to have reacted to the site, as well as the troops of the military’s rapid response force are also on the ground to rescue the stranded chairlift passengers.
Rescue Operation Timeline
- One cable of the lift broke at around 7:45 am which led to the chairlift being stranded mid-air.
- After DC asked for the arrangement of a helicopter, a SSG team based in Kaghan Valley was also contacted after which the helicopter reached the location at 11:45 am.
- Meanwhile, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) helicopter reached the site at 2 pm.
- Around 4:45 pm a rescuer was suspended from a sling being lowered and positioned adjacent to the cable car.
Most Difficult Rescue Operation
According to the officials, the rescue mission is complicated due to gusty winds in the area and the fact the helicopters’ rotor blades risk further destabilizing the cable car.
The two helicopters belonging to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Air Force arrived at the site for a rescue operation.
However, two attempts were made to move toward the cable car.
The helicopter can not approach the chairlift closely, as its downwash (air pressure) might snap the sole chain supporting it.