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Watch The Dramatic Rescue Of Children Being Rescued From A Dangling Cable Car

by Nolan Hawk

A group of school children were rescued from a cable car that had been dangling hundreds of feet over a Pakistani valley for 14 hours.

The ordeal began on Tuesday morning, when six children and two of their teachers from the remote village Btangi were traveling to Jhengarie to attend classes.

The mountainous area they live in is extremely remote, and only can be traversed by a rarely maintenanced system of of cable cars that ferry the children every day to their centrally located school.

One of the cables snapped during their routine trip, which left the gondola perilously hanging 900 feet above the valley on the other remaining cable.

“We suddenly felt a jolt, and it all happened so suddenly that we thought all of us are going to die,” 15-year-old Osama Sharif told APNews about the incident. “We cried, and tears were in our eyes, as we feared the cable car will go down.”

Those who had cell phones called their parents, who assured them that help was on the way.

The Pakistani army quickly deployed special forces to attempt the extremely risky rescue, initially using helicopters.

The first two of the children, who ranged between the ages of 10 and 15, were airlifted out of the cable car on harnesses, but heavy winds and the low visibility of nightfall grounded the helicopter.

Two complicate matters, two of the children passed out from heat exhaustion and vomiting, so rescuers had to get food, water, and medication to those who remained in the cable car.

The operation resumed with the use of the remaining intact cable, which local volunteers used to create a zip line that lowered the students and teachers to the ground.

According to Al Jazeera, local residents Sahib Khan, his brother Nasir, and two others set up the zip wires that saved seven of the people trapped in the cable car.

“The helicopters were coming and going, but they did not give us permission to make an effort at saving the kids,” he remarked.

“We were there for four to five hours but by the evening, the army was able to rescue just one child using the helicopters. Then, it got dark.”

Sahib traversed across the zipline with the improvised chairlift, while Nasir and the others worked the pulley from the ground.

When he finally reached the exhausted children, they had been stranded so long that they believed everyone on the ground had forgotten about them.

From there, he secured the children with safety ropes and repelled them to safety one by one.

“They were worried about the move, but I assured them they are with me, and I will take them home,” Sahib said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar said that he was “proud” that the heroic military members and locals who got involved “defied danger” and “rose to the challenge” to carry out the rescue operation.

“Relieved to know that Alhamdolillah all the kids have been successfully and safely rescued,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

“Great team work by the military, rescue departments, district administration as well as the local people.”

While the children are safe, they are seriously shaken by the ordeal, and are terrified to go to class. They have appealed to the government to build a school locally, so they don’t have to use a cable car.

Ata Ullah, another survivor, knows that despite their pleas, they have no other option for transportation.

“I feel fear in my mind about using the cable car, but I have no other option. I will go to my school again when the cable car is repaired,” he remarked.

The owner of the cable car was arrested for ignoring safety measures on Wednesday, and the prime minister ordered that all “dilapidated and non-compliant chairlifts” in the country be shut down immediately.

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