“What happened yesterday...was an act of God,” said the management of a company that runs the cable car service in Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir, after seven people died in an accident on Sunday, IANS reported. The company insisted there had been no violation of standard operating procedure that may have led to the accident.

“We don’t operate the gondola during high velocity winds and there is an inbuilt safety mechanism in the system that automatically stops the operation whenever there are gusty winds,” general manager of the project Riyaz Ahmad told IANS. “What happened yesterday was a great misfortune because of an act of God.”

The gondola service is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and a French firm, Pomagalski. Ahmad said a branch of a large pine tree fell on the cable after a strong gush of wind, derailing the cable car from the pulley. “What caused the deaths of our guests was the shattering of glass. After the glass shattered, the occupants were thrown out of the cabin because of the way the car was dangerously swinging,” Ahmad told the news agency.

Experts from Pomagalski will be called in soon for maintenance work and to conduct a thorough check of operations, Hindustan Times reported. The cable car service will remain suspended for the next 15 days.

A Delhi-based couple, their two daughters and three locals were killed in the accident. Four others were injured. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia for the next of kin of those who died in the accident. She had also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident.

The gondola service attracts thousands of people in summer. It ferries people to a height of 13,780 feet above the sea level and is the world’s second highest cable car service.