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Gulmarg: Man in Facebook status says ‘feeling peaceful’ before tragedy

New Delhi/Srinagar: “Feeling peaceful” with Manisha Andraskar, was the last message that friends of Jayant Andraskar saw on his Facebook profile before tragedy struck. The Delhi couple and their two young daughters — Anagha and Janhvi — were among seven people who died in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gulmarg hill station when a cable car crashed after a tree fell on the ropeway.

The Andraskars, residents of Shalimar Bagh in northwest Delhi, were in Jammu and Kashmir on a family holiday. One of the girls was a class 1 student while the other was in playschool, a relative identified by his first name, Sourabh, said. The couple had gone to Kashmir on June 22, he said. “The last time we talked, they spoke about Kashmir,” he added.

The family, originally from Nagpur, moved to Delhi as Jayant was working with a city government department, Mr Sourabh said.

The three others who died in the ropeway accident were identified as Kashmir valley residents Mukhtar Ahmad, Jahangir Ahmad and Farooq Ahmad Chopan.

A tree, uprooted by strong wind, fell on the ropeway of the Gulmarg Gondola or cable car and severed the lines, due to which one of the cable cars crashed to the ground, an official said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the cable car service could have been stopped as a precautionary measure against the strong wind. “What terrible news,” he tweeted. “It begs the question as to why the cable car operations weren’t suspended in high winds. That’s a laid down SOP [standard operating procedure],” he tweeted.

PTI