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7 killed in Gujarat ropeway mishap

January 19, 2003 20:26 IST

Seven people, including two women and a five-year-old boy, were killed and 20 injured when three cable cars crashed down after a ropeway taking pilgrims to a hilltop temple snapped on Sunday in Panchmahals district of Gujarat.

It was the first ever mishap of the cable car service since it was introduced 14 years ago in the Pavagadh mountain range near Vadodara to take pilgrims to the Mahakali temple.

Sixty-seven people were in ten cable cars at the time of the accident, officials said.

With seven of the trolleys dangling in midair for several hours, the 60 people trapped in them faced a nerve-wracking time before they were rescued in a seven-hour operation in which the army and air force were involved.

Helicopters were also pressed into service.

Rescue operations were hampered when irate onlookers indulged in arson and set ablaze the office of Usha Braco, the Kolkata-based private company that manned the ropeway, according to reports.

In Ahmedabad, a government release said those who killed were Pasabhai Amin, his son and daughter-in-law Rakesh and Krupa, Rekhaben Karke [Vadodara], boy Deepak Patel [Kevadia], Navendrasinh Durad and Vasant Fadke [Vadodara].

The bodies were sent for post-mortem to Halol civil hospital in Panchmahals district.

A magisterial inquiry was ordered into the accident

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