ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that around 16 to 19 people had died after their cars were stranded because of snowfall and traffic congestion in Murree.
In a video message, he said tourists flocked to the hill station in such large numbers “for the first time in 15 to 20 years which created a big crisis”.
The administrations of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, along with police, had been working to rescue the stranded people, while five platoons of the Pakistan Army, as well as Rangers and Frontier Corps, have been called on an emergency basis, he added.
Around 1,000 cars are stuck on the hill station, the interior minister said. “We have rescued some and turned back others. Around 16 to 19 deaths have occurred in cars.”
Ahmed said that residents of Murree provided food and blankets to those stranded, adding that the administration had closed all routes to the hill station and was allowing only vehicles planning to take food and blankets.
“God willing, we will rescue 1,000 cars by evening today. We have decided to stop people [travelling] on foot as well. It is no time for [pedestrian] tourists to visit.”
Meanwhile, the federal government has also deployed the personnel of the Pakistan Army and other civil-armed forces after 16-19 people died in their vehicles in Murree due to heavy snowfall in the hill station.
All the routes in Murree were blocked after thousands of vehicles entered the city, leaving the tourists helpless on the roads.
For the last two days, continuous snowfall has been taking place in Murree, and with that, hundreds of thousands of tourists are heading towards the town.