An urgent rescue effort is underway in Pakistan for eight children and two adults trapped in a chairlift dangling 1,200 feet over a mountainous region in the country’s northwest.
The children were traveling to school in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when one of the chairlift’s cables snapped at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday, according to rescue official, Bilal Ahmad Faizi.
Tanveer Ur Rehman, a local Battagram district official, said rescue efforts were being conducted from the ground due to the height of the chairlift system.
“The chairlift is hanging 1,200 feet (365 meters) above ground,” he said. “Rescue efforts are impossible without a helicopter, and experienced rescue officials are needed to ensure the rescue goes smoothly.”
The country’s disaster management authority has requested helicopter assistance to rescue the stranded passengers, according to a statement seen by CNN.
The chairlift connects two communities in the region and runs on two cables, one of which snapped, Faizi said.
Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar has 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.
This is a developing story. More to come…