Chandigarh and New Delhi:
Eleven tourists were stranded for two hours — and counting — in a cable car that stopped midway in Himachal Pradesh’s Parwanoo on Monday afternoon. Four of them have so far been rescued in an ongoing operation.
A rescue trolley was deployed on the cable to get the passengers out, according to the Solan district police chief. They were being lowered onto a hill in the Kaushalya river valley below with help of cable and harnesses. “The technical team of the Timber Trail operator has been deployed and police team is monitoring the situation,” the superintendent of police further told ANI.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force will shortly reach the spot, said Dhanbir Thakur, sub-divisional magistrate.
The cable car is a popular feature of the Timber Trail private resort, about 35 kilometres from Chandigarh on the route to Kasauli and Shimla. It is frequented by people from across the region as Parwanoo is at the cusp of Himachal Pradesh with Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.
This brought back memories of a similar incident here in October 1992, when 10 were rescued in an operation by the Army and Air Force, though one person had died.
The Indian Armed Forces had some months ago shared on their official Instagram handle a post carrying three pictures from the time the rescue operation was undertaken. The first photo showed the cable car — with Timber Trail Parwanoo written on it – hanging in the air. Another photo showed a tourist being lifted to the helicopter of the Indian Air Force, while the third one was a group photograph of officers and some rescued passengers.
At that time, only half of the passengers could be rescued at first, before it got dark. The team had to temporarily halt the operation but managed to get the others out the next day. The operator had tried to jump out to safety immediately after the cable car went out of control; he died as he hit his head on a rock.