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Jharkhand Cable Car Accident: An Audit Report Had Advised 'Close Watch' on Rope

After two cable cars collided in Jharkhand on Sunday, 10 April, 56 people were rescued, while three people died.

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As the three-day long rescue operation in the Jharkhand cable car accident came to an end on Tuesday, 12 April, it has come to light that a safety audit had been conducted by a government-backed agency a few weeks back, and had asked for a "close watch" to be kept on the steel rope which carries the trolleys.

According to an Indian Express report, the audit report, prepared by the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR), had stated that the condition of the rope was "satisfactory," but had noted "24 locals flaws/initiation of flaws."

The report had emphasised that the joint portions of the rope should be closely monitored, and had said that the audit did not examine the aspect of the fatigue due to haulage which may have developed in the seven-year-old rope. The field investigation had been conducted on 17 March, as per The Indian Express.

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Of a total of 59 people stuck after two cable cars collided in Jharkhand on Sunday, 56 people were rescued, while three people died.

'There Have Been Lapses': Disaster Management Minister

The State Disaster Management Minister Banna Gupta on Wednesday, 13 April, admitted that "there have been some lapses" but assured that stringent action will be taken after investigation of the mishap is concluded.

He told ANI,

"After investigation, stringent action will be taken against those who are responsible for this. I admit there have been some lapses. It is yet to be ascertained about the people involved in the negligence."

Calling the incident unfortunate, he added that CM Soren has ordered a probe and formed an enquiry committee. He said that matter is being taken seriously.

The minister said that the government will take precautionary measures in all tourist places, such as waterfalls, to avoid such incidents in the future and ensure the safety of citizens. Regarding the CIMFR report, he said that all aspects are being investigated.

This comes after Jharkhand BJP president and Rajya Sabha MP Deepak Prakash said on Tuesday that the state government is responsible for the cable-car mishap.

He said that an FIR should be lodged against the guilty and financial assistance be offered to the family of those who died in the accident, and government jobs, as per ANI.

The MP alleged that proper maintenance of the ropeway has not been done in the past two years.

"The people who were operating should have been controlled, the rules should have been strictly followed, but the state government did not pay any attention to all these things, the result came in the form of an accident," said Prakash.

What Had Happened in Jharkhand?

Three people were killed after cable cars on a ropeway collided with each other at Trikut hills in Jharkhand's Deoghar district on Sunday, 10 April. One woman had fallen to her death while being rescued from an air-borne trolley.

The operation to rescue people stuck mid-air in Jharkhand's Trikut hills was completed on Tuesday, 48 hours after it began, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had been called in for the relief efforts.

CM Soren has ordered a high-level investigation into the ropeway accident. "I express my deepest condolences on the incident on Trikut mountain and the deaths in it. There will be a high-level inquiry into the matter," he had said in a tweet.

On Tuesday, the Jharkhand High Court also asked the state to file a detailed inquiry report through an affidavit. The court will hear the matter on 26 April.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and ANI.)

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