BATTAGRAM: On Tuesday, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar announced that the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) had effectively rescued all eight passengers — consisting of seven schoolchildren and a local individual — who were left suspended mid-air when the rope of a cable car snapped in Allai Tehsil, located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Battagram district.
“Relieved to know that Alhamdolillah all the kids have been successfully and safely rescued. Great teamwork by the military, rescue departments, district administration as well as the local people,” the premier shared on X, previously known as Twitter.
Relieved to know that Alhamdolillah all the kids have been successfully and safely rescued. Great team work by the military, rescue departments, district administration as well as the local people. 🇵🇰 https://t.co/2gPq2Q51Xi
— Anwaar ul Haq Kakar (@anwaar_kakar) August 22, 2023
Earlier today, an open cable car became stranded midway over a ravine, suspended by a single cable after the other cable snapped. This left eight people trapped inside the cable car for over 15 hours.
During daylight hours, two of the children were airlifted to safety using an army helicopter. However, the helicopter operation was halted due to darkness and adverse weather conditions.
Following this, the army initiated a ground operation, led by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the SSG, to rescue the remaining five individuals from the cable car, utilizing alternative methods.
To aid in the rescue efforts, a smaller cable car was attached to the same cable, enabling the safe retrieval of the stranded individuals. This makeshift cable car was also used to deliver essential supplies like food and water to the trapped passengers. The assistance of a local cable crossings expert was enlisted by the Pakistan Army for additional support.
The rescue operation was a collaborative effort involving the Pakistan Army Aviation, the Pakistan Air Force, and the SSG troops. The mission was further complicated by challenging factors such as strong winds in the area and concerns about the helicopter’s rotor blades destabilizing the cable car further.