This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Military commandos and local volunteers have rescued all eight people from a cable car that broke down over a high ravine in a remote part of Pakistan.
Army commandos using helicopters and a makeshift chairlift rescued five children before darkness fell on August 22. The others were rescued after the effort shifted to an operation using the cable that was still intact to approach the car.
“All the kids have been successfully and safely rescued,” caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Great teamwork by the military, rescue departments, district administration as well as the local people.”
The eight people became trapped 15 hours earlier when one of the cables snapped while the car was suspended above a river canyon in Battagram district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
There were conflicting reports on how many children were among the eight, with some saying six and others seven.
According to Pakistani media reports, some of those trapped were in contact with their families by mobile phone. The children had been on their way to school when the cable car broke down.
The rescue transfixed the country as Pakistanis crowded around televisions in restaurants and other public places and in offices. Local media showed footage of an emergency worker dangling from a helicopter close to the small cabin as those onboard huddled together.
Relatives of the children, reportedly between the ages of 11 and 15, prayed while anxiously watching the operation unfold. There were tears of joy as the rescued children were handed over to their families, said Nazir Ahmed, a senior police officer who was present in the area where the rescue took place.
“Everyone was praying for this moment,” he said.
Kakar said earlier on X that he had ordered safety inspections of the country’s cable cars and chairlifts.