A rather unassuming young man with kind brown eyes is being hailed as a hero for his volunteer efforts to rescue 7 teenagers trapped in a cable car in Pakistan.
After two of the three supporting cables snapped, the teenagers were left dangling from an hour before school opened to the darkest watches of the night. A military helicopter originally came to affect a rescue, but fading light and high winds allowed them to save only 1 individual.
Sahib Khan and his older brother Nasir volunteered to rescue the remaining 7, having some experience with such things since they ran a cablecar business themselves. They used a zipline to reach the cable car with enough equipment to help the 5 children and 2 adults back to solid ground at a time.
Footage captured by local news and widely reported shows villager after villager embracing Sahib.
“Today, the way these two young men carried out the rescue operation has made the whole nation proud of them,” said Javed Nasir, a local resident with his arm wrapped around Sahib’s slight shoulders.
The rescue took place in the remote Battagram District of northern Pakistan where building cable cars across ravines can save millions of dollars and months of labor, and it began after the military, who had originally prohibited the villagers from doing anything, acquiesced to the idea that a zipline could be suspended close to the remaining suspension cable.
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Sahib and Nasir could then use the zipline to come close enough to help the teenagers escape the hanging metal box, but the line and its “dolly,” a byword for a small makeshift gondola, was only big enough for 1 person.
“Our dolly was small, but we were afraid of the load on the zip line. It was a little bit windy and very dark, everything was difficult,” Sahib told Al Jazeera. “But by the grace of God, we were able to bring the second child back down.”
WATCH the rescue happen from SCMP…
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