Two arrested in Pakistan over cable car incident


The owner and operator of a chairlift that was stranded in high winds above a ravine with children on board in Pakistan have been arrested.

Mohammad Sheraz Khan, an officer at a district police station in Pakistan's northwest, told Reuters the two men had been detained after the children were rescued, but did not give details of the charges.

Rescuers on Tuesday evening saved all eight people on board after they spent more than 15 hours swaying precariously in the chairlift after one of its cables snapped.

The schoolchildren, aged between 10 and 16, had been coming down from their homes in Jhangri to a school in Battangi, comprising two villages in the Allai valley, when the calamity struck at around 7:00 am local time.

The journey by cable car usually takes just a matter of minutes, whereas travelling along the rough mountain roads and tracks takes hours.

"It is an unforgettable day," Faraz said on Wednesday, a day after army commandos performed a miraculous rescue, winching two to safety with a helicopter, and bringing the rest down on a zip line when it became too dark to fly safely in the gusting winds.

"I can't tell you what we experienced yesterday when one cable of the cable car suddenly snapped and we were stranded in the air," said Faraz, who at 20 years old was the only adult aboard, and the only person with a mobile phone.

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