Twenty-two-year-old Ramdeo Pujhar was among those Paharia tribals who rescued eight tourists from two cable cars following an accident on a ropeway in Trikut hills in Jharkhand's Deoghar district.
Pujhar, a member of Paharia Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group, heard a loud thud around 4 PM on Sunday and screams of passengers crying for help. He, along with two other locals, broke open the trolleys and rescued the eight people who were seriously injured.
"I heard a loud thud. The ropeway was shaking violently and the passengers were screaming. I rushed to the direction of the sound. I found panic-stricken people, including two girls, screaming inside the trolleys," he told PTI.
One of the trolleys had hit a rock on the ground, while the other was hanging six feet above the surface. The rescuers used a chair to reach the stuck passengers and then broke open the cable cars to rescue the trapped people.
Pujhar said that on hearing the screams, more Paharias from Sisanuthar village in the foothills of Trikut hills rushed to the spot. Officials concerned and police were informed and the injured admitted to hospitals.
"People in all the villages in the vicinity are praying for speedy recovery of the injured," he said.
Three people have died so far, including two after falling from helicopters during the rescue operation, and all the trapped tourists have been evacuated.
Pujhar said he was working as a cleaner in the Damodar Ropeway and Infra Limited (DRIL), which operated the system, and was not regularly getting his paltry monthly salary of Rs 3,000.
Deoghar Deputy Commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri said that locals extended full support during the initial phase of the rescue operation.
Fifty-year-old Maheshwar Singh, another member of the Paharia tribe, said that panic has gripped the area after the incident and he vowed never to take a ropeway ride again.