SRINAGAR -- Four members of a Delhi family and three tourist guides were killed when a cable car came crashing down after a ropeway snapped midair in the ski-resort of Gulmarg today, prompting the J-K government to order a high-level inquiry.
A tree, uprooted by strong winds, fell on the ropeway of Gulmarg Gondola severing the lines and plummeting the cable car to the ground, a police official said.
The police said they rescued around 150 people stranded due to the snapping of the cable car ropeway in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.
Four of the deceased belonged to a family from Delhi's Shalimar Bagh, he said.
They have been identified as Jayant Andraskar, his wife Manisha Andraskar and their two minor daughters, Anagha and Janhvi.
Three Kashmiri tourist guides, Mukhtar Ahmad of Chonti Patri Babareshi, and Jahangir Ahmad and Farooq Ahmad Chopan, both residents of Tangmarg -- were also killed in the accident, the official said.
Two others, Tariq Ahmad and Ajaz Ahmad, both residents of Pachhar, also working as tourist guides, were injured and were taken to a hospital in Srinagar.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti ordered a high-level inquiry while expressed grief and shock over the deaths.
Mufti, who herself was monitoring the rescue operations, also announced ex gratia of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, an official spokesperson said.
He said the chief minister has asked the inquiry to probe the causes or lapses, if any, that led to the tragedy.
The bodies of the deceased were being sent to their homes, the spokesperson said.
An official of the cable car company said that around 150 people had got stranded after the ropeway collapse.
"We resumed the ropeway for rescue of the stranded people," Riyaz Ahmad, the general manager of the Jammu and Kashmir State Cable Car Corporation, which runs Gulmarg Gondola, said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah questioned why the cable car service had not been shut down as a precautionary measure because of high winds.
What terrible news! If confirmed this will be the first such incident with the Gulmarg cable car. My heart felt condolences to the families. https://t.co/wga3ENjZlG— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) June 25, 2017
If this is what happened it begs the question as to why the cable car operations weren't suspended in high winds. That's a laid down SOP. https://t.co/1LVe04fN4N— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) June 25, 2017
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