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Cable auto snaps in Gulmarg, 5 die, 4 from one Delhi family

26 June 2017

A tree, uprooted by strong winds, fell on the ropeway of Gulmarg Gondola and severed the lines due to which the cable vehicle came crashing to the ground, an official said.

Though reports said all the five persons including a local guide and four tourists have died but it was not immediately confirmed.

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.

Director Tourism Mahmood A. Shah who immediately rushed to the scene of occurrence said.

All members of the family, along with three others, identified as Mukhtar Ahmed Ganie, Javed Ahmed Khandey and Farooq Ahmed and believed to be tourist guides, when their cable vehicle crashed in the Gulmarg resort following strong winds. One cabin got derailed from its pully and crashed down.

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At least two persons were killed in Gulmarg when a pine tree was uprooted and hit the cable vehicle. Officials in Gulmarg told over the phone that the service was restored after being stopped briefly. It is hugely popular with tourists who flock to Gulmarg, a skiing hub.

The cable auto at Gulmarg ferries passengers to a height of 4,100 metres (13,450 feet) for panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayas.

As per former Chief Minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah's tweet (@abdullah_omar) this is first-of-its-kind accident in the valley. It is the world's second highest operating cable auto project that can ferry 600 people in one hour.National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Working President Omar Abdullah expressed deep grief over deaths in the tragic Gandola mishap in Gulmarg. "That's a laid down SOP".

"Police have launched a rescue operation in the forest area", Baramulla SSP Imtiyaz Hussain Mir said.

He said the chief minister has asked the inquiry to probe the causes or lapses, if any, that led to the tragedy.