MURREE: At least 19 tourists found dead in their cars as snowstorm hits Pakistani hill station, Murree, near capital Islamabad on Friday night. Paramilitary and armed forces called in to evacuate tourists.
In a video message, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed confirmed that at least 19 tourists found dead in their vehicles as a large number of tourists reached Murree in their cars, which created chaos and authorities forced to stop traffic towards Murree.
He said local administrations of Murree and Rawalpindi have started the rescue operation with the help of armed forces and paramilitary troops to evacuate the tourists from the area. He also announced to ban pedestrians as said, “This is not a time to go Murree, only those allowed to go, who wants to take food and relief items.”
For the last two days, continuous snowfall has been taking place in Murree, so hundreds of thousands of tourists were headed towards the hill station.
According to the local administration, rain and blizzards were forecast in tonight around Murree, with thunderstorms at a speed of 50-90 kmph and heavy snowfall, so the administration warned the citizens not to leave their homes in severe weather or turn to Murree as severe weather conditions are likely to continue till late hours.
Roads leading to the tourist site has been blocked at Bhara Kahu tool plaza. Thousands of tourists, including women and children, have been trapped on the roads in the area since Friday night. Officials of the traffic police, however, were making their efforts to restore the flow of traffic.