Cable car crashes in tourist resort in Kashmir, killing 7


The services were entirely stopped and rescue operations launched to the other 15 stranded cable cars.

It is noted that the cabin fell after the wind knocked a pine tree and the tree falling, cut the rope. Four people belonged to one family from Delhi's Shalimar Bagh, the official said.

The victims have been identified as Jayant Andraskar, his wife Manshea Andraskar and their daughters Anagha and Janhvi, reports said.

Two local guides were also killed in the incident.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to express his grief over the incident. Two others were also reported killed in the accident taking the death toll to seven.

More news: Dancing host Kevin Spacey steals the show at Tony Awards

The cable cars at Gulmarg transport passengers to a height of 4,100m (13,450ft) and provide scenic views of the Himalayas which remain snow-capped even at this time of the year.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who herself monitored the rescue operation that lasted for four hours, announced ex gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh for the dead's next of kin. The second phase of the cable auto was made operational in 2005.

The accident drew condemnation from former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who, expressing his condolences in a series of tweets, questioned why the cable auto service wasn't shut down during high winds as a precautionary measure. It is hugely popular with tourists who flock to Gulmarg, a skiing hub.

Mufti has directed conducting of a high level inquiry to know of the causes or lapses that led to the accident.

He wrote: "What awful news! That's a laid down SOP [standard operating procedure]", he tweeted.