Daring Pakistan Rescue: 2 Kids Saved So Far From Cable Car

Military commandos trying to save 4 more kids and 2 adults
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2023 7:50 AM CDT
Updated Aug 22, 2023 9:59 AM CDT
Pakistan Races to Save Kids Trapped in Dangling Cable Car
In this image taken from video, a cable car carrying six children and two adults dangles hundreds of feet above the ground in the remote Battagram district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023.   (AP Photo)
UPDATE Aug 22, 2023 9:59 AM CDT

Two children have been rescued from a dangling cable car in Pakistan, while military commandos work on getting four more children and two adults safely out, reports the AP. The commandos were initially using helicopters, but that strategy was being abandoned as night falls, per the BBC. The latter outlet says locals actually rescued one of the first two children with a zip line. (Details are changing quickly; CNN reports four children rescued.)

Aug 22, 2023 7:50 AM CDT

"For God's sake help us," is the desperate plea of an adult stuck in a cable car dangling over a 900-foot ravine in Pakistan. Eight people, including six kids ages 10 to 16, set out around 7am local time to cross the Allai valley to head to school when one of the two cables suspending the car snapped. It took four hours for a helicopter to reach the scene in Battagram, but army rescue efforts so far have proved unsuccessful. Local law enforcement tells the BBC that four helicopters have been unable to extract the passengers, though they have been able to get food and water to them.

The AP reports that local TV reports have shown Army commandos attempting to lower themselves on ropes from the helicopters. It describes the country as "transfixed," with Pakistanis gathering around televisions to watch the scene unfold. The situation is described as extremely precarious: There are strong winds as well as fears the wind created by the helicopter's blades could weaken the single cable holding the car up, and the Washington Post reports military officials said that another wire runs 30 feet above the car, complicating things.

story continues below

And time is running short, at least in terms of the amount of daylight left: Sunset will occur just before 7pm local time, which is 9am ET, though the rescue is expected to continue into the night. The 16-year-old on board apparently has a heart condition and fainted and has been unconscious for two hours. A local teacher says 150 people head to school via the cable car daily, as there aren't roads or other transportation options in the mountainous area. The cable car in question is said to be privately run by locals. (More Pakistan stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.