Karachi | At least eight people, including six schoolchildren, were trapped 900 ft mid-air after the wires of their chairlift snapped in a mountainous area in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Tuesday, according to media reports.
The children were headed to school when the incident occurred at around 8 am in Battagram's Allai tehsil, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.
According to Allai tehsil chairperson Mufti Gulamullah, the chairlift was privately run by locals for transportation across the river as there were no roads or bridges in the area, it said.
"A chairlift stuck at a height of about 900 ft midway due to breakage in one of its cables in Battagram. Eight persons, including 6 children, (are) stranded," the Geo News reported citing a statement from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Pakistan Army's quick response force has been called for the rescue operation.
According to Allai Assistant Commissioner Jawad Hussain, the local administration along with Rescue 1122 teams were present at the spot, but due to the height and the hilly area, it was not possible for rescue officials to carry out a relief operation.
Meanwhile, directing authorities to rescue all the people stuck in the chairlift, Interim Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar asked the national and provincial disaster management authorities to utilise all the available resources and issued directives to ensure safety measures for cable cars in the hilly areas.
"The chairlift accident in Battagram, KP is really alarming," he tweeted.
According to a local school teacher, Zafar Iqbal, at least 150 students take the hazardous journey to school by cable car every day due to the lack of road facilities in the area, the Dawn newspaper reported.