Pakistan: Six children stuck 1,000ft in the air on chairlift after cable snaps

An emergency helicopter rescue is taking place to rescue the two men and six children, who are stranded over 1,000ft in the air.

Eight people are stranded over 900ft in the air on a chair lift, in Pakistan, after one of the cables used to transport the cart snapped.

The group, including six children, have been dangling over a river canyon for seven hours and two are slipping in and out of consciousness, CNN reports.

The group were travelling to school in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when one of the chairlift’s cables broke at 9am local time (4am UK time) on Tuesday, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

One passenger, named only as Gulfaraz, said the pupils, aged between 10 and 15 years old, do not have water, in an interview with Pakistani media outlet Geo News.

Army commandos could be seen, on local television, trying to lower themselves on ropes from helicopters toward the cable car.

Rescue personnel have given the passengers nausea medication following reports of children vomiting, the district’s deputy commissioner Tanveer Ur Rehman said.

He added those trapped were also given heart related medication.

Mr Rehman said the helicopters will stay in the air until the rescue operation is completed as bringing them down caused the remaining cable to move too much.

Several helicopters are hovering above the scene, and ambulances have gathered on the ground.

Previously, a local government official said eight children were trapped with the adults at a height of 1,200 feet (365 metres).

Tipu Sultan, a retired army brigadier and defense expert, warned the helicopters could make the situation worse as the blades could weaken the cables holding the chairlift.

“Let us pray that those trapped in the cable car are safely rescued,” Mr Sultan said

Relatives of those trapped were seen praying while anxiously watching the operation unfold.

The emergency rescue was ordered by the country’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, who said the incident is “really alarming”.

It is hoped a helicopter will be able to pluck the eight out of the chairlift.

The crossing was installed across a river canyon, connecting villages in Battagram district.

It is regularly used by local villagers to travel over the river and shorten the distance to nearby schools, government offices and other businesses.

But the cars are often poorly maintained and every year people die or are injured while traveling in them.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mr Kakar has ordered all “dilapidated and non-compliant chairlifts” to close immediately, according to a statement from his office.

He also urged authorities to inspect all private chairlifts to ensure they are safe.

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