Gulmarg: At least five persons have died after the gandola cable in the tourist resort of Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir snapped with a the falling of a tree.
Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mahmood A Shah, said the cable vehicle (gondola) crashed down at Gulmarg due to the heavy winds.
Director tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said this is very unfortunate accident which happened due felling of a tree over the ropeway.
Shah said among the seven dead includes four members of Andraskar family from Delhi.
The deceased tourists from Delhi have been identified as: Jayant Andraskar, his wife Manshea andraskar, and daughters Anagha and Janhvi.
He said the chief minister also directed a high-level inquiry to find the causes or lapses, if any, that led to the accident.
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An official of the cable auto company said about 100 people, who had used the ropeway, were stranded and rescue efforts were on.
"...It begs the question as to why the cable auto operations weren't suspended in high winds". It severed the lines and the cable vehicle plummeted to the ground, the official said.
The two-stage Gulmarg cable vehicle lift ferries people to a height of 13,780 ft above the sea level.
The cable vehicle service of Gulmarg is hugely popular and draws thousands of people in summer.
He wrote: "What bad news!"
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.
An official of the cable vehicle company said that around 150 people had got stranded after the ropeway collapse. "That's a laid down SOP".