7, Including Four From Delhi, Dead as Tree Falls on Cable Car in J&K's Gulmarg
Seven, including four from a Delhi-based family, lost their lives when a cable car wire snapped after a tree fell on it at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in Kashmir's Baramulla district on Sunday.
The tree fell on the Gulmarg Gondola snapping the wire carrying it. This caused the cable car to plummet to the ground, a police official said. The tree had fallen on the cable due to strong winds, which led to derailment. The accident happened in the initial stretch of the Gondola ride.
J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has expressed grief and shock over the tragic accident and has announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia compensation for the dead. The CM has also ordered a high-level probe into the accident.
What terrible news! If confirmed this will be the first such incident with the Gulmarg cable car. My heart felt condolences to the families. https://t.co/wga3ENjZlG— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) June 25, 2017
Out of the seven, four belonged to a family from Delhi's Shalimar Bagh, a police officer said. The dead have been identified as Jayant Andraskar, his wife Manshea Andraskar and their two daughters Anagha and Janhvi. The other three victims were identified as Mukhtar Ahmed Ganie, Javed Ahmed Khandey and Farooq Ahmed - believed to be tourist guides.
Heart breaking images coming out of #Gulmarg 💔. What a tragic way for a family holiday to end. Can't sympathise enough with the families.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) June 25, 2017
Two others, Tariq Ahmad and Ajaz Ahmad, both residents of Pachhar, were injured and were taken to a hospital in Srinagar.
An official of the cable car company said about 150 people, who had used the ropeway, have been rescued. "We resumed the ropeway to rescue 150 people who were stranded. We are also ready with the manual rescue operation," said Riyaz Ahmad, general manager of the Jammu and Kashmir State Cable Car Corporation, which runs Gulmarg Gondola.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned why the cable car service had not been shut down as a precautionary measure because of high winds.
"What terrible news," he tweeted. "...it begs the question as to why the cable car operations weren't suspended in high winds. That's a laid down SOP [standard operating procedure]," he posted on Twitter.
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