Dozens of tourists were stranded in traffic jams this Saturday (8) due to a blizzard in northern Pakistan.
Authorities are still updating the number of victims, according to the Agency France Press, 21 people have been killed. Reuters number 16.
A rare blizzard in the mountain town of Murri, 40 miles from the capital Islamabad, has attracted more than 100,000 cars in recent days to attend the event. About 1,000 cars of this large size were stranded at a station in the area.
The government declared a state of disaster in the city. Army and paramilitary forces were deployed to assist in the rescue operation, and authorities provided homes in schools and administration buildings for those who were able to get out of the blocked roads.
“For the first time in 15 to 20 years, a large number of tourists have flocked to Murree, which has created a major crisis,” Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said in a video message.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was shocked by the “tragic deaths” of tourists. “We have ordered an investigation and have established strict rules to ensure that such tragedies are prevented,” Khan said on Twitter.
The blizzard that started on Tuesday (4) night continued to attract thousands of tourists at regular intervals. On Friday night (7), the government announced that it would close all roads leading to the site to prevent further tourist arrivals.
Many families are stranded on the roads due to the high number of visitors. According to AFP news, police said this At least six people died of freezing. It is not yet known whether they died of suffocation after inhaling gas in a traffic jam.
“The deaths were caused by the common cold or carbon monoxide poisoning,” Fahim Jonas, head of infectious diseases at UCH, University of Maryland, said in a tweet.
“CO is odorless, dangerous, and if a stable car is buried in the snow the blocked exhaust while inhaling the CO will quickly kill the passenger,” he said.
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