All 8 Rescued From Dangling Cable Car

'Everyone was praying for this moment'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2023 1:59 PM CDT
All 6 Kids, 2 Adults Safely Rescued From Cable Car
A man watches a news channel at a barber shop in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023.   (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Six children and two adults have been rescued safely from a cable car that was dangling over a rive canyon in a remote area of Pakistan for more than 12 hours. Authorities say military commandos assisted by civilians used helicopters and a makeshift chairlift to rescue the group from more than 900 feet above the river in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the AP reports. Two children were rescued by helicopter before darkness and high winds forced rescuers to change tactics, reports the Guardian. Rescuers used a cable as a zipline to bring more children to safety, followed by the adults. Officials say zipline experts were brought in from elsewhere in Pakistan.

The children, aged between 11 and 15, were on their way to school Tuesday morning when one of the cables snapped, leaving the car dangling precariously. The AP reports that the dramatic rescue effort transfixed the country, with people across Pakistan crowding around TV sets to watch coverage. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar tweeted that he was relieved to know "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."

Nazir Ahmed, a local police officer, said most of the children burst into tears when they were reunited with their families. "Everyone was praying for this moment," he said. Cable cars, often makeshift and built illegally, are a common form of transport in large parts of Pakistan where there is little other infrastructure and people have to travel over rugged terrain to get to facilities like schools, the BBC reports. One common design uses the upper body of a pickup truck as a cabin. They are sometimes used to transport cattle and even cars. Kakar says he has ordered safety inspections of cable cars and chairlifts across Pakistan. (More Pakistan stories.)

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