PESHAWAR – The rescue of six faculty youngsters and two adults who had been plucked from a damaged cable automotive that was dangling precariously a whole lot of meters (yards) above a steep gorge was a miracle, a survivor mentioned Wednesday. {The teenager} mentioned he and the others felt repeatedly that demise was imminent in the course of the 16-hour ordeal.

The eight passengers had been pulled from the cable automotive in a number of rescue makes an attempt Tuesday. One of many youngest youngsters was grabbed by a commando connected to a helicopter by rope. A video of the rescue exhibits the rope swaying wildly because the youngster, secured by a harness, is pulled into the helicopter.

As a result of helicopters couldn’t fly after sundown, rescuers constructed a makeshift chairlift from a picket mattress body and ropes and approached the cable automotive utilizing the one cable that was nonetheless intact, native police chief Nazir Ahmed mentioned. Within the closing stage of the dangerous operation, simply earlier than midnight Tuesday, rescuers and volunteers pulled a rope to decrease the chairlift to the bottom. Joyful shouts of “God is great” erupted because the chairlift got here into view, carrying two boys in conventional white robes.

“I had heard stories about miracles, but I saw a miraculous rescue happening with my own eyes,” said 15-year-old Osama Sharif, one of the six boys who were in the cable car.

Locally made cable cars are a widely used form of transportation in the mountainous Battagram district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Gliding across steep valleys, they cut down travel time but often are poorly maintained and accident-prone. Every year, people die or are injured while traveling in them.

On Wednesday, police arrested Gul Zarin, the owner of the cable car, on charges of ignoring safety measures, local police said. On Wednesday, a popular independent media outlet, Pakistani Geo TV, broadcast interviews with two survivors, Rizwan Ullah and Gul Faraz, who said they had seen death so closely that they would not be able to forget this ordeal for years.

On Tuesday morning, the six boys got into the cable car to travel to their school across the ravine from their village. Osama said he was headed to school to receive the result of his final exam.

“We suddenly felt a jolt, and it all happened so suddenly that we thought all of us are going to die,” Osama mentioned in a phone interview.

He said some of the children and the two adults had cellphones and started making calls. Worried parents tried to reassure the children.

“They were telling us don’t worry, help is coming,” he said. After several hours, the passengers saw helicopters flying in the air, and at one point a commando using a rope came very close to the cable car.

But the choppers also added an element of danger. The air currents churned up by the whirling blades risked weakening the only cable preventing the cable car from crashing to the bottom of the river canyon.

“We cried, and tears were in our eyes, as we feared the cable car will go down,” Osama said.

Eventually a helicopter plucked one of the youngest children from the cable car, he said. Then, the makeshift chairlift arrived, first to give them food and water, followed by the rescue.

Ahmed, the local police chief, said the children received oxygen as a precaution before being handed over to their parents, many of whom burst into tears of joy.

An estimated 30,000 people live in Battagram, and nearly 8,000 gathered to watch the rescue operation, with many volunteering to help.

On Wednesday, authorities were preparing to repair the broken cable car.

Ata Ullah, another rescued student, said cable cars are the only way residents can reach offices and schools.

“I feel fear in my mind about using the cable car, but I have no other option. I will go to my school again when the cable car is repaired,” he said.

In 2017, 10 individuals had been killed when a cable automotive fell a whole lot of meters (yards) right into a ravine within the standard mountain resort of Murree after its cable broke.

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