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The truth behind Pakistan’s homemade cable car system

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A harrowing incident involving eight people, including children, left them stranded in a cable car precariously suspended above a ravine in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

For many, the footage of the chair lift hanging 274 meters (900 feet) above the ground is the stuff of nightmares. However, makeshift cable cars are a common sight in eastern Mansehra and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, extending to Pakistan-administered Gilgit-Baltistan in the north.

In regions lacking infrastructure and with vast distances between essential amenities like schools, these cable cars, often hastily assembled with scrap metal, are born out of necessity. Local communities, driven by the absence of alternatives and the cost-effectiveness, build them – often illegally.

Improvised cable cars

These improvised contraptions take various forms. Some are crafted from the upper portion of a pickup truck, with vehicles like Suzukis converted into large cabins for transporting people and livestock. Ropes connect them to the cable, which may also consist of scrap iron.

While undeniably perilous, these cable cars serve a crucial purpose. They are used to traverse rivers and reduce travel time between valleys in mountainous terrain. In Allai, the region where the recent incident occurred, there is no road infrastructure or basic facilities.

Consequently, a local resident received permission from the city administration to construct the cable car, as confirmed by the police to BBC News. Locals refer to it as “Dolly,” connecting the village of Jangri to Batangi, where the local school is situated.

This cable car drastically cuts travel time. What would ordinarily entail a two-hour walk can now be accomplished in just four minutes by using the cable car.

Significant costs

Beyond convenience, affordability is a key factor contributing to the popularity of the Allai cable car. It is significantly cheaper than road travel, with fares starting as low as 20 PKR (£0.053; $0.067), varying according to the distance covered.

According to local resident Mohabbat Shah, people are willing to take the risk with these cable cars. As long as there have been no issues with a particular cable car before, it remains a viable transportation option for people navigating the region. He explained that a one-way trip costs only 10 rupees per person, while booking a cab for the same journey could cost up to 2000 rupees (£18.91; $24.09).

While this particular cable car has not faced any challenges to date, others across Pakistan have experienced accidents. In 2017, an illegal cable car crashed in Murree, Punjab, resulting in the tragic deaths of 11 passengers as it plunged into a ravine. Last December, local media reported a rope snapping incident in Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 12 children had to be rescued while en route to school, leaving them stranded 61 meters over a river.

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Helicopter carrying Iran’s President Raisi crashes

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday as it was crossing mountain terrain in heavy fog.

The official said the lives of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash”, which happened on the way back from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan in Iran’s northwest.

“We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, May 19, 2024. Ali Hamed Haghdoust/IRNA/WANA via REUTERS

State TV quoted an official as saying at least one passenger and one crew member had been in contact with rescuers. It also said the helicopter had been found, though Iran’s Red Crescent denied this report.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs. #iran #trending

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Why Australia is becoming the new home of the Hollywood blockbuster

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Australia’s multimillion-dollar campaign to attract Hollywood productions to its shores appears to be paying off.

The allure of Australia lies not only in its picturesque locations but also in its competitive financial incentives.

The government offers generous rebates and tax breaks to international productions, making it an attractive proposition for filmmakers looking to maximise their budgets.

Despite the recent intake of Hollywood productions down under such as ‘The Fall Guy’ and ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’, Aussie independents are still finding the space to carve their own creative path.

Rob Fantozzi joined the program to discuss the latest in Hollywood, and showcased his own upcoming project – ‘Omerta‘. #featured

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Portal between countries shut down after international flashing

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An international video portal has been forced to shut down after an OnlyFans model reportedly flashed passersby from across the globe.

On this episode of Ahron and Mike Live – Which would you prefer; pay rise or work perks, an international portal closes, the military reveal a submarine stingray and are you on a top or bottom burger bun?

Ticker’s Ahron Young & Mike Loder discuss. #featured #trending

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