Seven die in Gulmarg cable car accident

Srinagar: A family of four from Delhi and three locals were killed on Sunday when a gondola car cabin crashed hundreds of meters down to the ground after its cable snapped in Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

Police sources said the cable may have snapped after a giant tree fell on it, sending several cabin cars hurtling down a valley in the otherwise tourist paradise.

“A couple and two children were among the dead,” a police officer said. “Rescue efforts are on to save people trapped in other cars of the gondola cable car project.”

The dead were identified as Jayant Anderaskar, his wife Manisha and their daughters Anagha and Jhanvi. They were reported to be from Shalimar Bagh in Delhi.

The other three victims were identified as Mukhtar Ahmed Ganie, Javed Ahmed Khandey and Farooq Ahmed — believed to be tourist guides.

The two-stage Gulmarg cable car lift ferries people to a height of 13,780 feet above the sea level. It is the world’s second highest operating cable car project with a cabin capacity of ferrying 600 people in one hour.

The ropeway project — which has 36 cabins and 18 towers — is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and a French firm and is hugely popular with tourists who flock to Gulmarg, a skiing hub.

The first stage of the cable car transfers people from the Gulmarg resort at 2,600 meters (8,530 feet) to Kongdori station in the bowl-shaped Kongdori valley, according to the company which operates the cable car.

The second stage takes people to a height of 3,747 meters (12,293 feet) on Kongdori mountain. (IANS)

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