MURREE: The operation to rescue the picnickers stranded in the Patriata chairlift, Murree has been completed after the area’s main attraction broke down on Saturday.
“All 90 tourists stuck in the cable cars have been rescued to safety and all of them are safe and sound,” said Patriata cable car manager Mohsin Fazal, while talking to Geo News. “Whole cable car system will be checked before it is allowed to resume operation. The cable car operation will remain on hold while the chairlift will remain operational.”
As many as 90 people remained marooned in the air for 10 hours.
The cable car manager said help was sought from the district administration, Rescue 1122, the Civil Defence and the Pakistan Army.
DC Rawalpindi Chaudhry Muhammed Ali Randhawa said there were eight to nine people in every cable and none of the rescued is injured.
“In first phase, we rescued 27 people from three cables that were easily accessible,” he told, adding it was very difficult to rescue the people on board other cable cars as they were on a height in a hilly area. So, we decided to re-adjust the haul rope back on to the sheaves to set the cable cars in motion, he said. The idea worked and we managed to rescue the people, he told.
Assistant Commissioner Murree has been directed to conducted an inquiry as to why the cable car operation was allowed amid windstorm after sunset, he said. Randhawa said action will be taken against those involved in risking the lives of the people.
The Patriata and Pindi Point cable cars have been closed with immediate effect until we get clearance from the Civil Defence and Rescue 1122, he informed.
The chairlift is one of the major attractions for tourists in the hilly area of Murree. The 3.25 kilometres long facility was installed at an altitude of about 7,500 feet from the sea level and about 15 kilometres from the Murree town, starting from Ghulehrra Gali to Patriata top.
Tourists visit these scenic areas round the year however, influx enhances during the summer season especially when school-going children get their annual two-month vacations.
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