Five people are missing after a ropeway collapsed in the Trishuli River in Gorkha district, police said yesterday.
Police said Ranjeet Gaire, Mishra Shrestha, Ram Kumar Shrestha, Amritlal Shreshta and Riju Silwal were swept away by the Trishuli in the accident. “Five others survived the incident. Search is being conducted in the river shortly after the accident”, police added.
Of the nine local farmers who fell into the river while returning home after selling vegetables at a collection centre between Benighat and Charaudi on Prithvi Highway, four swam to safety. One person was rescued before the swollen river swept him away.
Suraj Khadka, one of the survivors, said the accident happened when one of the pillars holding the cable split in the middle of the haul, causing the cable to sag and dunking the tram in the river numerous times. “When the tram emerged out of the water after the first drop and plunged again, five of the passengers fell off.
Soon they were swept away by the current,” Khadka said.
Police personnel and locals involved in search operation until late yesterday evening fear that the missing people may have drowned.
The aerial tramway (ropeway) was built more than four decades ago by Chinese government, originally to ferry construction materials for Prithvi Highway.
Later, the transport system was used to carry passengers as there was no alternative transport facility in the area to cross the river.
Local people blocked the Prithvi Highway for three hours after the accident asking the government to build a bridge in the area.