- At least 22 people were trapped and died in their cars due to heavy snowfall at a Pakistani resort.
- The authorities reported that at least 10 minors were among the deceased.
- The government ordered the closure of the area to prevent the arrival of more tourists.
At least 22 people who were trapped in their vehicles died Saturday after temperatures dropped to minus 8 degrees Celsius (17.6 Fahrenheit) amid heavy snowfall in the Pakistani mountain resort town of Murree overnight.
Atiq Ahmed, an official from the Islamabad Police Department, said that 8 of the 22 deaths were the family of fellow police officer Naveed Iqbal, who also died due to the snowfall. Most of the victims died of hypothermia, authorities said.
A fatal snowfall in Pakistan
Rescue services Doctor Abdur Rehman said that after evacuating all the stranded tourists from their cars the death toll rose to 22, including 10 men, 10 children, and 2 women. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that thousands of vehicles had been pulled out of the snow, but more than a thousand remained trapped in the area on Saturday.
Located 28 miles (45.5 kilometers) north of the capital Islamabad, Murree is a popular winter resort that attracts more than a million tourists a year. The streets leading into the city are often blocked by snow in winter, The Associated Press reported. Filed under: Snowy Pakistan
More than a thousand vehicles are still stuck
Ahmed, the interior minister, said more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) of snow fell in the area overnight and all incoming traffic was blocked on Saturday. The minister said paramilitary troops and a special mountain military unit had been called in to help.
“Until then no vehicles, not even people on foot can enter Murree except emergency and rescue vehicles and those that bring food for the stuck people,” he said. Umar Maqbool, a local administrator, said heavy snowfall hampered rescue efforts overnight and even heavy equipment brought in to clear the snow initially got stuck. Filed under: Snowy Pakistan
Could the death toll increase?
Officials did not provide details about those who died in their snow-covered vehicles but said they were working on both recovery and rescue operations. Maqbool stated that food and blankets were distributed to tourists trapped overnight.
Most of the streets leading to the area’s resorts were largely cleared of snow on Saturday, but some work is still being done, Maqbool said. Troops and military machines were utilized to clear all the streets. Also, the military set up relief camps in army-run schools that provided shelter and food. Filed under: Snowy Pakistan
The post At least 22 tourists trapped in their cars died after a heavy snowfall in Pakistan appeared first on Mundo Hispanico.