12 killed in murree cable car plunge

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RAWALPINDI – A locally-made cable car plunged into a ditch Thursday afternoon near Murree, killing 12 and injuring two others critically.

According to Rescue 1122 and police, the accident came near Panwari village of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa adjacent to the Murree town of Punjab on Thursday.

The manual lift service installed on self-help basis linked Panwari village to Charra Pani area of Murree.

It was being used to transport 13 people from Tret to Dannah village across a nullah when it broke in the middle, came off the cable and fell in a ditch about 500 feet below.

According to the locals, the lift operator boarded more people than the capacity that led to the accident.

The lift could accommodate eight persons, while fourteen passengers were on board, an eyewitness said.

The operator reportedly escaped the scene and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police were looking for him.

Later in the evening, the local people blocked the old Murree Road by placing the bodies on the road in protest and demanded action against the lift operator.

“There was a strong wind which led to the cable breaking and falling,” an eyewitness, Omair said. He said the lift was the only access for the villagers to reach their destination. Most of the villagers avail this mode of travel for travelling in the mountainous area.

Another eyewitness said that the deceased included players of a local cricket team, who were going to participate in cricket tournament.

As many as 12 people died on the spot while the two injured were taken to Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, rescue sources said. The bodies of the dead have been handed over to their families, they said.

The deceased included nine men, a woman and a child. They were identified as Wasif, 18, Arif, 35, Shabeer, 55, Saima Shabir, 45, Ikhlaq, 36, Mujahid,17, Abdul Hameed, 70, Sohaib,10, Ahmed, 18, Rohan, 14, and Shazil, 15.

The two injured were identified as Haseeb, 23, from Manga and Adnan, 22, from Malpur, Islamabad, and they had been shifted to Holy Family hospital of Islamabad. Rescuers initially said their chances of survival were slim as the cable car had fallen from a height of 400 feet.

Seven of the victims hailed from the local areas while four of them hailed from Malpur village in Islamabad.

Police said that the lift service set up on self-help basis would transport people from Murree to other areas crossing a nullah between two mountains in Hazara division.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Acting Punjab Governor Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan expressed deep sorrow over the loss of human lives in the accident.

Cable car accidents are common in mountainous areas of the country, where the lifts are often used to cross rivers. Four people drowned when a cable car broke in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan last month.

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Haseeb, 23, from Manga and Adnan, 22, from Malpur, Islamabad, and they had been shifted to Holy Family hospital of Islamabad. Rescuers initially said their chances of survival were slim as the cable car had fallen from a height of 400 feet.

Seven of the victims hailed from the local areas while four of them hailed from Malpur village in Islamabad.

Police said that the lift service set up on self-help basis would transport people from Murree to other areas crossing a nullah between two mountains in Hazara division.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Acting Punjab Governor Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan expressed deep sorrow over the loss of human lives in the accident. Cable car accidents are common in mountainous areas of the country, where the lifts are often used to cross rivers. Four people drowned when a cable car broke in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan last month.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 30-Jun-2017 here.

Culled from here

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