Efforts underway to rescue trapped children in a cable car hanging over a ravine in Pakistan.

A distressing situation has unfolded in Pakistan, where six children and two teachers find themselves trapped in a precarious predicament. Their gondola, suspended 274 meters (900 feet) above a ravine, has become stranded due to a snapped cable. Adding to the complexity of the situation, strong winds are posing significant challenges to what authorities describe as an “extremely risky” helicopter rescue mission.This alarming incident occurred in the mountainous region of Battagram, approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Islamabad. The children, who were en route to school, boarded the gondola at 7 am (02:00 GMT), only to find themselves suspended mid-air due to the malfunction.Efforts to rectify the situation initially involved attempting to fix the cable fault, but these endeavors proved unsuccessful. As a result, the National Disaster Management Authority initiated a rescue operation, dispatching two army helicopters for the purpose.The gondola currently finds itself precariously suspended, with one cable snapped and the other holding on, leaving it suspended midway across the ravine. According to Shariq Riaz Khattak, a rescue official at the scene, one of the children has fainted due to the combination of heat and fear.The ongoing helicopter rescue mission is posing a significant challenge due to the turbulent winds in the area. The risk of further destabilizing the gondola has been heightened by the helicopters’ rotor blades. Despite these challenges, military helicopters are present in the vicinity, hovering near the stranded cable car.One individual trapped in the cable car, identified as Gulfraz, made an urgent plea for assistance through a phone call to Pakistan television channel Geo News. Describing the dire situation, he highlighted that they have been suspended mid-air for nearly five hours, with one person already fainting. A helicopter had arrived, but left without executing any rescue operations, intensifying the urgency of the situation.This perilous operation has engaged specially trained services troops with expertise in aerial sling operations, given the high-risk nature of the mission. The efforts of the Pakistan army are concentrated on rescuing those stranded within the gondola.Chair lifts are commonly utilized by residents in the mountainous regions of northern Pakistan for transport between villages. The affected children were en route to a high school in Batangai, situated in the Alai region.Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar expressed his concern on the X messaging platform, formerly known as Twitter. In response to this incident, he directed authorities to conduct safety inspections of all private chair lifts to ensure their safe operation and use, underscoring the need for enhanced safety measures in such transportation methods.

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