PESHAWAR: Police has arrested the owner and operator of the chairlift that malfunctioned and snapped over a high remote ravine in Battagram.
Eight people including schoolchildren were trapped in the chairlift whose cable snapped on Tuesday morning, leading to a rescue operation which continued for several hours.
Pakistan Army Aviation officers, Special Service Group (SSG) commandos, and locals successfully pulled out the school students and their teacher trapped in the chairlift in Allai Tehsil.
Police took action and arrested the the chairlift’s owner Gul Zareen and operator Ijaz after a case was registered against them in Shamlai Police Station for negligence and endangering lives.
The FIR said the owner and operator committed serious negligence. It said the chairlift hung mid-air after the cable snapped as eight people trapped inside were rescued.
Police have sealed the control room of the chairlift. It has been revealed that the chairlift was being operated without an NOC for six years.
After the incident, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar had directed the authorities to conduct safety inspections of all private chairlifts and ensure that they are safe to operate.
The prime minister also instructed to ensure safety arrangements on all such chairlifts in the hilly areas. He directed to immediately close chairlifts in dilapidated condition and do not meet safety standards.
President Dr Arif Alvi expressed his pleasure over the successful operation to rescue the passengers from stranded cable car in Battagram, called for a safety survey of all local chairlifts for future safety.
“I am ecstatic to learn about the safe rescue of all kids of the Battagram chairlift,” the president wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
He appreciated all including the military personnel, local rescuers, and entire administration, for showing commitment and bravery in the “most critical” rescue.
The president also urged the administration to conduct a comprehensive survey of all such local chairlifts to ensure the safety of the people in future.