Woman dead, 36 still trapped after Deoghar ropeway accident

Deoghar (Jharkhand), April 11 : A woman died while 36 others are still trapped following a ropeway accident on the Trikut Hills of Jharkhand’s Deoghar district, officials said on Monday, as Army, NDRF and ITBP personnel continued rescue operation Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Hemant Soren told reporters at the Ranchi Airport that rescue efforts are being carried out on war footing. He said NDRF and rescue teams are trying to bring down everyone safely. Moreover, the help of experts is also being taken he said adding that the government was keeping an eye on all the happenings and necessary instructions are being issued. The mishap occurred on Sunday evening after a cable of the ropeway reportedly got snapped, resulting in the tourists getting stuck midair about 2500 feet above the ground. At least twelve of them sustained injuries. The deceased woman has been identified as Sumanti Devi (50) from Sarath of Deoghar district. The Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel are involved in the rescue operations, while two Indian Air Force helicopters have been pressed into service to bring down the people stuck in the trolleys. Most of the people stuck in the trolleys are from West Bengal’s Malda, Bihar’s Bhagalpur and Jharkhand’s Deoghar districts. The Army commandos had not managed much success in their earlier efforts. Initially, attempts were made from the choppers to rescue the people from cabins18 and 9. Meanwhile, Deoghar DC Manjunath Bhajantri said so far 12 people have been rescued by the forces. Some of them have been airlifted while others have been made to land vertically. He said soon the remaining people will be rescued. Deoghar Airport Director Sandeep Dhingra said the Air Force helicopters have joined the rescue operations and the location has been shared with them. The trolleys are hanging nearly 2500 feet above the ground, and therefore all necessary precautions are being adopted to ensure the safety of the people stuck in the trolleys. The NDRF teams late in the night had also tried sending food packets to the people stuck in the trolleys. Godda MP Nishikant Dubey, Deoghar DC Manjunath Bhajantri and other officials are camping at the spot. State Tourism Minister Hafizul Hasan and Education Minister Jagarnath Mahto are also on their way to Trikut Hills. Minister Hafizul said the entire incident will be probed and action wtaken against the guilty. The Minister said the company running the ropeway will be blacklisted and as an alternative option, a road will also be constructed all the way to the top of the hill. Education Minister on his part said that the incident was unfortunate but politics should be held over the matter. XC-AK SSP

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