Parwanoo Timber Trail: Stuck midair, tourists banked on social media to speed up rescue

On Monday, social media proved to be the difference between life and death for a group of tourists who were stranded mid-air for hours after two cable cars developed snags at the Parwanoo Timber Trail in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district.

The group of tourists who got stuck on the ropeway in gondola cabins told The Indian Express that rescue work initially was slow, almost bordering on apathy. However, a sense of urgency seeped in after some of the tourists made videos of themselves and circulated them on social media. One such video went viral and reached Himachal Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, who himself later monitored the rescue after having called up one of the stranded tourists.

“We were in touch with the Timber Trail resort staff and kept pleading with them to rescue us at the earliest. We were mainly concerned about the health of Manoj Goyal, 57, who is a diabetic and requires dialysis twice a week. We finally decided to share our predicament with the rest of the world after observing that nobody was showing any urgency in rescuing us. We shot multiple videos and shared them with our friends and family, besides putting them on social media,” said Anju Garg, 46, from Adarsh Nagar in Delhi, who was one of the tourists to be rescued.

The videos, Garg claims, worked with rescue work immediately picking up speed.

“We started receiving messages, and calls from various people, including certain politicians including CM, Himachal, Jai Ram Thakur. For two hours nothing happened. And then rescue work was conducted by authorities at a rapid pace,” said Manoj Goyal.

VK Singh, the general manager of Timber Trail resort, told The Indian Express, “Two cable cars were stuck midair. Three tourists in one car were rescued within 45 minutes. The attendant assisted them. Others were rescued after a long operation.”

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