I had lost all hope: Jharkhand ropeway Survivors recount horror without food and water
New Delhi, Apr 13: Survivors who were rescued in stages from the ropeway cars in Jharkhand's Deoghar were "badly dehydrated" after many were left without food and water for close to 24 hours, doctors tending to the survivors said on Tuesday.
Speaking to ANI, Naman Niraj, a survivor said, "I had lost all hope. We were not getting any clue about what had happened. My mother called me to inform that an accident had taken place on the ropeway. We were in constant touch by phone. There was a network issue. Indian Air Force and other rescue teams took more than three attempts to rescue us."
"My whole family was very tense. They had come to the accident site. We were consoling each other to remain calm and normal and wait for the rescue teams. I thank the rescue teams for saving us," Niraj said.
Another survivor Anita Dasi broke down while narrating the whole story. "I was stranded along with three more persons. We were completely dehydrated. It felt like we were about to die before we were rescued. The rescue teams gave us water bottles and rescued us. I came to know that a fellow passenger who was known to me could not be saved," Dasi told ANI.
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 (IAF) helicopters.
Fourteen of the last remaining 15 tourists, who were trapped mid-air for more than 40 hours, were rescued during the day.
At least three people died while 63 were rescued when the operation ended on Tuesday, two days after the cableway to Trikut hills developed a problem and stranded them mid-air.
"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.
The rescue operation was conducted jointly by the IAF, Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) 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.
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.