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Dream vacation turns fatal as cable car ride snaps in J&K’s Gulmarg; Delhi family of 4 among seven dead

India TV News Desk New Delhi 26 Jun 2017, 12:00:56 IST
India TV News Desk

Seven people, including a family of four from Delhi, were killed in a tragic accident that hit Gulmarg’s famous Gondola cable lift system on Sunday. 

"Feeling peaceful" with Manisha Andraskar, was the last message that friends of Jayant Andraskar saw on his Facebook page before tragedy struck.

The Delhi couple and their two young daughters - Anagha and Janhvi - were among seven who met a tragic death in Kashmir's Gulmarg when a cable car came crashing down after a ropeway snapped.

The Andraskars, residents of Shalimar Bagh in north west Delhi, had gone to Kashmir for a holiday.

One of their daughters was a class I student while the other was in playschool, according to one of their relatives, Sourabh. The couple had gone to Kashmir on June 22, he said.

"The last time we talked, they spoke about Kashmir," said Sourabh told PTI.

The family hailed from Nagpur but had come to Delhi as Jayant was working in a Delhi government department, he said.

Apart from the Andraskars, three persons from Kashmir - Mukhtar Ahmad, a resident of Chonti Patri Babareshi, and Jahangir Ahmad and Farooq Ahmad Chopan, both residents of Tangmarg -- were also killed in the accident.

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

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief and shock over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to next of kin of the killed. She has also directed conducting of a high level inquiry to know of the causes or lapses, if any, that led to the accident.

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," he tweeted.

"It begs the question as to why the cable car operations weren't suspended in high winds. That's a laid down SOP [standard operating procedure]," he posted on Twitter.

According to a Times of India report, the Andraskars had a residence in Officers’ Quarters in Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh. The report cited neighbours saying that Andraskar had told them about the trip before leaving and seemed quite excited about it. 

Gondola Cable Car Corporation general manager Ryaz Ahmad said that the tragic deaths were mainly the result of heart attacks rather than injuries.