Deoghar: Two persons dead in ropeway cable car collision, 7 more rescued
Two persons were killed, including a man who fell from the helicopter during the rescue operation, after cable cars in a ropeway collided with each other at Trikut Hills in Jharkhand’s Deoghar district on Sunday afternoon.
Rescue operations resumed at the Trikut hills from 5 am in Tuesday. Seven more tourists were rescued, said Deoghra deputy commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri.
Deoghar deputy development commissioner said the man who fell from the helicopter on Monday evening had been declared dead on arrival in hospital.
मोहनपुर प्रखंड अंतर्गत त्रिकुट पर्वत पर रोपवे सफर के दौरान फसे हुए लोगों को एयरफोर्स, #NDRF #ITBP की टीम द्वारा रेस्क्यू किया जा रहा हैं। सुबह से अब तक 5 लोगों को रेस्क्यू किया जा चुका हैं।@HemantSorenJMM @mbhajantri @prdjharkhand pic.twitter.com/ifL6BrLX1O— DC Deoghar (@DCDeoghar) April 12, 2022
As of now 37 persons had been rescued but nearly 10 were still stranded mid-air in four cabins.
A woman, identified as Sumant Devi from Sarath in Deoghar, had died in the collision on Sunday evening.
“A pulley of one of the trollies got stuck resulting in the incident,” Deoghar deputy commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri posted on Twitter.
“Personnel of Indo-Tibetian Border Police, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) reached the spot in the morning for rescue work. One person died in the incident and one who sustained serious injuries is being treated... We are doing continuous announcements so that the people stranded won’t panic,” Bhajantri added.
त्रिकुट पर्वत पर रोपवे सफर के दौरान फसे हुए लोगों को एयरफोर्स, इंडियन आर्मी, एनडीआरएफ, आईटीबीपी एवं स्थानीय प्रशासन की टीम द्वारा रेस्क्यू किया जा रहा हैं। आज कुल 32 लोगों को रेस्क्यू किया जा चुका हैं। आज और कल मिलाकर कुल 02 लोगों की मृत्यु हुई है।@HemantSorenJMM @mbhajantri pic.twitter.com/zna4Jy3D04— DC Deoghar (@DCDeoghar) April 11, 2022
Chief minister Hemant Soren has expressed grief at the accident. Speaking to journalists at the Ranchi airport, the chief minister said relief and rescue operations were being carried out on a war footing.
State tourism minister Hafizul Hassa said the government would probe the crash.
“The ropeway was being operated by a Calcutta-based private firm (Damodar Ropeways and Infra Limited). We will investigate why the maintenance of the ropeways was not done as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract.
“We will start the process of blacklisting the private firm. The department will also start constructing a road from the backside as an alternative arrangement to rescue people in case of mishap.”
State tourism secretary Amitabh Kaushal had on Sunday sought the Centre’s help in providing helicopters and experts for the rescue operations in the hilly terrain.
Sources in Deoghar administration said the incident took place at around 4.30pm on Sunday when the pulley of the ropeway broke, causing a trolley to fall into the ditch and 23 cabins to be stranded mid-air.
All the injured were rushed to Deoghar Sadar Hospital where Sumant Devi died in the evening.
The rescue operation by the army and the NDRF started on Monday morning after an aerial survey. An attempt was made to deliver food packets to the people trapped in the cabin.
The ropeway is situated between two hills. There is a 1,500-feet-deep ditch at the bottom, which is impeding rescue operations.
“We cannot take the helicopters close to the cabins due to the strong air, which causes the trolley to swing. The ditch and the height are making the rescue work difficult. The network of wires is also making our task complicated,” a senior NDRF (Patna) personnel said.
Trikutachal Mahadev Temple and the ashram of Rishi Dayanand are situated on Trikut Hill. Every year thousands of people go there either to visit the temple or for picnic.
The ropeway, which was sanctioned during former chief minister Arjun Munda-led NDA government’s tenure to promote religious tourism, became operational in 2009 and is the only one in the state.
The ropeway built at a cost of Rs 1.50 crore is unique as it is placed at an angle of 44 degrees. The total length of the rope on which the cabins are fixed is about 2,512 feet while the climb is about 1,282 feet from the ground.
According to officials of the state tourism department, this is the highest vertical ropeway in India.
Meanwhile, almost all the top brass of Jharkhand administrative machinery including ADG Jharkhand police, R. K Mallick, state tourism and disaster management secretary Amitabh Kaushal, tourism director Rahul Sinha and state tourism minister Hafizul Hassan Ansari are camping at the spot, situated at Trikut Hills in Mohanpur block of Deoghar district for the rescue operation. Two helicopters have been pressed into service by the Indian Air Force for the rescue operation.