Seven killed in Kashmir cable car accident

Gulmarg: 7 people killed as tree falls on cable car; rescue operation underway

Rescue efforts are on to save people trapped in other cars of the gondola cable vehicle project.

The accident happened due to the heavy winds which uprooted the tree which later fell on ropes between tower number 7 to 8 of the cable vehicle project. "Rescue work is going on", an official of the J&K Cable Car Corporation told The Kashmir Monitor. The people killed in the accident were from a family coming from Delhi. Initial reports confirmed the death of 5 people, 4 tourists including two children, and a local guide. The services were entirely stopped and rescue operations launched to the other 15 stranded cable cars.

Gulmarg police officer Imtiyas Hussain said a falling pine tree hit one of the cars, snapping the vehicle from the cable and sending it down hundreds of feet. The deceased family members have been identified as Jayant Andraskar, Manshea Andraskar and their daughters- Anagha and Janhvi. More than 150 tourists including small kids are stranded in the Gondola, and were suffering from the breathing problem. The three Kashmiris killed - Mukhtar Ahmad, a resident of Chonti Patri Babareshi, and Jahangir Ahmad and Farooq Ahmad Chopan, both residents of Tangmarg - are believed to be tourist guides.

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Former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference (NC), Omar Abdullah, while expressing his condolences in a series of tweets, questioned why the service was not shut down during high winds as a precautionary measure.

He wrote: "What awful news!"

Abdullah wondered why the cable vehicle operations were not suspended in high winds. "That's a laid down SOP [standard operating procedure]", he posted on Twitter.

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