I can’t help but say that it’s amazing that I endured it for more than 14 hours in this position.
Gul Paras, 20, a car mechanic in Batagram, Khyber Phaktunkhwa Province in northwestern Pakistan, started the morning of the 22nd (local time) as usual. I was thinking of taking his nephew to school and going home. It was something he had been doing every morning for years. He was riding an old, cramped cable car across the steep Alai Gorge.
However, within minutes of setting off, the two cables supporting the vehicle they were in broke. His uncle and nephew, along with six others, were left dangling 274 meters in the air, shaken by gusts of wind. “We felt like we were standing on the edge of the grave. There was little hope of survival.”
It was around 7:30 a.m. when the cable was disconnected, but it was well past 9:00 p.m. after 14 hours that all eight people, including six teenagers, were rescued. It was the result of the combined efforts of four helicopters and zip wire experts. “It’s my last day and I thought I wouldn’t live,”
one of the boys rescued, Atahula Shah, 15, told AFP . God gave me a second life,” he confesses grown-up.
At the foot of the Karakoram Mountains, where the Himalayas extend, the Pakistani government or local governments do not have the capacity to expand their own transportation infrastructure, so residents often install and operate poor cable cars themselves. Students like Gul Lapas’s nephew can only rely on it because it takes 2 hours to get to Batangi School from Janggra Village by road, but it takes 5 minutes by cable car.
Gul Faras informed family and friends of the accident via mobile phone, and residents alerted officials via loudspeakers. But it took four hours for the first rescue helicopter to arrive. It was also very difficult for the helicopter pilots. It was impossible to get too close to the dangling cable car. The cable car shook each time it descended and approached. Eyewitnesses told local media that the children were screaming in terror.
Gul Paras said rescuers’ ropes would get tangled in the cable car whenever helicopters approached to rescue the children. He said, “I felt like I was going to fall out of my seat every time the helicopter approached and swayed, and I felt like I was going to fall even while standing. I had to take care of my kids under a lot of stress, really.” In this situation, one child suffered from a tightening of the heart.
Concerned villagers, including his relatives, gathered on both shores in an uproar. Parents clung to officials to save their children, and onlookers cheered and sighed. One police officer told the BBC it was “a complete mess”. After several failed attempts, a helicopter pulled a child up. The child was suspended in the air for about 20 seconds before being lifted into the helicopter.
After that he made no progress and it was around 7 in the evening. The weather turned bad, and darkness came. More hope faded.
At this time, the one ray of light was the zipline experts from the neighboring town of Naran. The town had a zipline favorite for adventure seekers and experts. One of them, Muhammad Ali Sbati (31), was evacuated to the site after soldiers came to him and asked for help.
He had to prepare much harder than usual. He built chairlifts for military officers and rescue volunteers, like bed frames. He approached the accident vehicle bit by bit and cautiously with the one remaining cable. In this way, I was able to rescue all the remaining seven people in turn.
“They clung to me like they clung to her mother. Their conditions토토사이트 were bad. They were under extreme stress because they did not think they would be able to live.”
Even then, many people remained and watched and cheered as they were all dramatically rescued and safely set foot on the ground. The military said that the rescue operation was completed at 11:00 p.m., and that it was an “unprecedentedly difficult operation.”
It is still unknown how the cable was cut, but it is clear that this accident served as an opportunity to look back on the safety of the poor cable car system widely used in Pakistan. Nasrullah, who teaches children at Batangi School, said she used to cross the cable car to the hospital with a sore ear on her back.
“It takes at least two hours to walk. die on the way But three years ago, some came and laid a cable car to reduce the distance, and now it is significantly better.”
Another villager, Molby Ghulam Ula, said, “We have connectivity issues all the time. no legs People are forced to resort to means of travel,” he said.
The cable car vehicle made by weaving old iron materials is illegal, so it is made faster and cheaper. Rates are very cheap. It depends on the distance, but the cheapest is only $0.067 (about 86 won). But efficiency and cheapness come at a price for safety.
Unfortunately, this accident was not without precedent. In June, a cable supporting a chairlift across Swat Gorge in the same Khyber Paktunkwa province snapped, causing a woman and an infant to fall and drown. In December of last year, 12 students were trapped in the air in the north and were rescued two hours later. In 2017, 10 people were killed when a cable car crashed into a valley in a mountain resort town.
Authorities arrested the cable owner and operator responsible for the accident. It was the reason that the lives of passengers were endangered by using a rope that did not meet the standard.
But villagers agree that developing the region’s transport infrastructure would be a more sustainable solution. “We ask the government to lay a road as soon as possible so we don’t have to resort to cable cars to get to the other side of the mountain,” Nasrullah said, adding that for now some concerned parents are reconsidering this makeshift form of transport.
Gul Paras’s nephew said, “My parents don’t let me take the cable car right now, even if I walk the whole time. They say God saved me this time, but it’s too dangerous.”