Snowfall is rare in Murri, Pakistan. That is why thousands of people decided to use the opportunity to see the winter landscape with their own eyes. However, a catastrophe occurred, resulting in the death of a dozen or more people – who were trapped in the snow in their own cars.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Saturday that at least 16 people had been killed in snow near the northern mountain town of Murray.
He said the army was trying to clear the roads of snow and save those who were still immobile.
“I asked the locals to help the tourists and provide them with food and bedding,” Ahmed said. The death toll could be as high as 19 or 21, according to some media reports.
They went despite the warning of the authorities
It has been snowing continuously since Tuesday evening. The city has been attracting tourists for many days. As the crowd of spectators was high, many families were stranded on the road.
“For the first time in 15-20 years, so many tourists have come to Murree,” said the Pakistani interior minister.
A police spokesman in Murree said more than 100,000 cars had entered the city, 70 kilometers from the capital Islamabad, in the past three days.
Despite the warnings of the authorities, tourists flocked to see an extraordinary event snowfall in this small tourist town which is very popular among the residents of the capital.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed shock over the “tragic death” of tourists.
“I have ordered an investigation and strong regulation to ensure that such tragedies are prevented,” Khan said in a tweet.
According to Punjab provincial officials, Murree has been declared a “disaster area” and residents are being urged to stay away. These services should help evacuate, and roads leading to the city will be closed by 9pm on Sunday.
Until now, it is not clear what caused the deaths of people. Freezing or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is highly possible.
– CO is odorless and dangerous. Dr. Fahim Jonas of the University of Maryland said that if a car that is inactive is buried in ice, the blocked muffler will quickly kill passengers due to carbon monoxide.
PAP, pakistantoday.com.pk, Reuters
Key Photo Source: Reuters
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