At least seven people were killed after a tree fell on a cable car in Gulmarg on Sunday, according to Jammu & Kashmir police. They accident took place at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said.
The tree fell on the ropeway of Gulmarg Gondola and snapped it leading to the cable car falling down. He said the tree was uprooted due to strong winds.
Four people belonged to one family from Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh, the official said.
They have been identified as Jayant Andraskar, his wife Manshea Andraskar and their two daughters – Anagha and Janhvi, he said. A local, Mukhtar Ahmad, a resident of Chonti Patri Babareshi was also killed, the official said.
Officials said that the service has been stopped and rescue operations are underway to retrieve those who are still missing.
The gondola service of Gulmarg is hugely popular, with one of the finest ski slopes in the world; Gulmarg draws skiers from across the world through the winter.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has expressed her condolences to the bereaved families, and announced ex-gratia relief of 5 lakh rupees to the next of kin of each of those who died in the accident.
Questions have been raised that how was the cable car corporation operating Gandola’s during high winds in Gulmarg. Former CM and NC workin working president, Omar Abdullah, in his tweet said that “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.”
Later, National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Working President Omar Abdullah expressed deep grief over deaths in the Gandola mishap in Gulmarg. While conveying condolences to the bereaved families, the President and Working President prayed for peace to the departed souls and sought immediate assistance for those injured in the mishap and the families who have lost their dear ones in the mishap.
DGP, Jammu and Kashmir Police, S P Vaid, also expressed his deepest sympathies with the bereaved families, and said “we are with the families in these times of grief.”
While expressing deep sorrow and grief over the tragic accident, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G A Mir has condoled the loss of precious lives in Gulmarg during an unfortunate incident.
Describing the incident as most unfortunate, Mir said that “my heart goes out for those families who lost their dear ones in this tragic accident.” He also criticized the concerned authorities for failing to ensure the safety of people coming to enjoy the Gandola ride. Mir urged upon the authorities to ensure the safety of tourists and common people visiting Gulmarg and other places in Valley.