KP govt orders inspection of all chairlifts after Battagram incident

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This handout photograph taken on August 22, 2023 and released by the Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) shows an army soldier (top) rescueing a student survivor, who was trapped in a cable car following an incident, in Battagram. —AFP
This handout photograph taken on August 22, 2023 and released by the Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) shows an army soldier (top) rescueing a student survivor, who was trapped in a cable car following an incident, in Battagram. —AFP
  • DC tasked to conduct inspection of all chairlifts
  • They have been ordered to submit report within a week.
  • Instructions issued after Battagram incident.

PESHAWAR: The caretaker government in Khyber Paktwnkha has ordered the inspection of all chairlifts installed in the province and conduct their safety audit following a cable car incident in Battagram.

The directives from the provincial government came on Tuesday just hours after the Pakistan Army’s special unit and zipline experts rescued eight people, including six school boys, trapped for hours in a stricken cable car high above a remote valley in Allai Tehsil.

The daring rescue began with a helicopter plucking two children to safety after almost 12 hours in the air as daylight faded, but the chopper was forced back to base in the dark.

Then rescuers used the cable keeping the gondola from plunging into the valley as a zipline to rescue the rest of those stranded late into Tuesday night.

According to fresh directives issued to all the deputy commissioners in KP, they are tasked to carry out a safety audit of chairlifts within their jurisdictions.

Immediate checking of chairlifts at all commercial, domestic and recreational places should be carried out by the provincial government, stated the advisory, adding that cable cars installed over rivers and canals should also be done by the relevant authorities.

The DCs have been asked to review the design, capacity and safety measures of all chairlifts and submit reports within a week.

It has also been made mandatory to get NOC from the district administration before the installation of cable cars.

Cable cars that carry passengers — and sometimes even cars — are common across the northern areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, and are vital in connecting villages and towns in areas where roads cannot be built.

In 2017, 10 people were killed when a chairlift cable broke, sending passengers plunging into a ravine in a mountain hamlet near the capital Islamabad.


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