NEW DELHI — A tree lashed by strong wind crashed onto a gondola cable in northern India on Sunday, sending two cars plunging to the rugged terrain below, the police said. Seven passengers were thrown from the cars and died, and two others were injured.
About 150 people remained stranded in midair for several hours in other gondola cars until they were rescued by the police, said Imtiyaz Hussain, the senior police superintendent in the Baramulla district of Kashmir, who supervised the rescue.
Dangerous wind and dense forests hampered officers as they used a helicopter and all-terrain vehicles to search for the victims, who were described as a married couple and their two young daughters on vacation from New Delhi, two tour guides and a gondola operator.
Survivors described a violent lurch when the tree hit a support cable of the gondola in Gulmarg, a noted tourist attraction that carries sightseers about 5,000 feet up Kongdoori Mountain.