Pakistan children, teachers trapped after gondola becomes stuck
A gondola in Pakistan is stuck nearly 1,000 feet above the ground Tuesday, officials say. (Credit: Reuters/Umeed Sahar)
Six children and two teachers are dangling nearly 1,000 feet in the air in Pakistan after a cable connected to the gondola they are traveling in snapped, reports say.
An “extremely risky” helicopter rescue mission is now unfolding Tuesday to save those stuck in a mountainous area in Battagram, located about 125 miles north of the capital of Islamabad, officials told Reuters.
An image posted by Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed a black object suspended high above a ravine.
The children and teachers reportedly were taking the gondola to get to school Tuesday.
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The gondola stuck in Battagram, Pakistan, is nearly 1,000 feet in the air, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority says. (NDMA Pakistan)
The gondola is stuck about 900 feet in the air, according to the NDMA.
“One child has fainted due to heat and fear,” rescue official Shariq Riaz Khattak told Reuters at the scene, describing how the gondola became stuck halfway across the ravine and is hanging on by a single cable after the other one attached to it snapped.
Khattak added that the rescue operation – which involves Pakistan military helicopters – is being hampered due to gusty winds in the area and the possibility of the helicopters’ rotors destabilizing the stricken gondola, according to Reuters.
A security official told Reuters that special forces troops are also involved in the “extremely dangerous and risky operation.”
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“All efforts are being made by Pakistan army to rescue the stranded people in the lift,” that official reportedly said.
Officials told Reuters that six children and two teachers are onboard.
In a post on X, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar described the situation as “really alarming.”
“I have directed the NDMA, [Provincial Disaster Management Agency] PDMA and district authorities to urgently ensure safe rescue and evacuation of the 8 people stuck in the chairlift,” he said.
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“I have also directed the authorities to conduct safety inspections of all such private chairlifts and ensure that they are safe to operate and use,” Kakar added.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.