Pakistan: All eight people rescued from cable car stuck 900ft in the air after cable snapped

The group had been dangling over a river canyon for over 15 hours and two were slipping in and out of consciousness

All eight people, including six children, have been rescued from a stranded chair lift in Pakistan after one of the cables used to transport the cart snapped while it was 900ft in the air.

The group had been dangling over a river canyon for over 15 hours and two were slipping in and out of consciousness, CNN reported.

The use of helicopters had halted after darkness had fallen, but rescue efforts have now concluded after all eight were brought to safety.

The group were travelling to school in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Battagram, 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).

Watch the moment rescuers saved some of the people stranded on board the cable car

Gulfraz, the first rescued, said the pupils, aged between 10 and 15 years old, did not have water while they were stuck, 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 gave 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.

According to Pakistani TV stations, some of those trapped were in contact with their families by mobile phone, while authorities said the two adults were consoling the children, who were between the ages of 11 and 15.

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

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 at the time.

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

The rescue transfixed Pakistanis across the country who crowded around televisions in offices, shops, restaurants and hospitals.

People in Pakistan watch the ongoing coverage as eight people are rescued from a dangling cable car. Credit: AP

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

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.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...