All the tourists trapped in cable cars in Jharkhand's Deoghar district were rescued by 2 pm on Tuesday even as one more person fell down from a helicopter while being winched up, taking the death toll in the incident to three, officials said.
Rescue operations spread over 46 hours ended as all the 60 passengers stranded in cable cars due to an accident on a ropeway at Trikut hills around 4 pm on Sunday were evacuated by two Indian Air Force helicopters.
Fourteen of the last remaining 15 tourists, who were trapped mid-air for more than 40 hours, were rescued during the day.
"Of the remaining 15 people trapped in cable cars, 14 were rescued while a woman fell off the chopper during the course of the operation," Additional Director General of Police R K Mallick told PTI from the spot over phone.
Deoghar Civil Surgeon C K Shahi said that the woman, identified as 60-year-old Shobha Devi, was declared dead on being taken to a hospital.
Mallick said that the rescued people were sent to hospitals, where they will be examined.
Three people have died so far, including two tourists who fell to their deaths from helicopters on Monday and Tuesday during botched rescue attempts, while 12 injured people are undergoing treatment at hospitals.
The rescue operation was conducted jointly by the Indian Air Force, Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Disaster Response Force and the district administration. Food and water were supplied to the stranded people using drones.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren has ordered a high-level probe into the incident.
"I have directed all the senior officials to find out the reasons behind the accident and who are accountable for this. A high-level probe will be conducted in the matter and action will be taken accordingly. The state government is keeping a close watch on the situation," Soren said.
Governor Ramesh Bais has expressed deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured people.
"The accident on the ropeway built on Trikut hills of Deoghar, a world-famous religious place, is very sad and painful. I express my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and pray to Baba Baidyanath for the speedy recovery of the injured," he said.
BJP vice-president and former Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das had accused the state government of being inactive, even after such a major accident, and claimed that ministers hailing from the region did not visit the site.
"The government did not care about the lives of the people. The inability to make quick decisions resulted in passengers hanging in the air overnight," Das said demanding a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the next of kin of the deceased.
The area which boasts of the famous Trikutachal Mahadeva Temple and the hermitage of Sage Dayananda, Trikut hills has several peaks, with the highest at 2,470 feet above the sea level.
The Trikut ropeway, according to the Jharkhand tourism department, is India's highest vertical ropeway. It is around 766-metre long.