Sun, Aug

About 22 People Dead After Cars Got Stuck At Pakistan Mountain Resort

Middle East & Asia News

At least 22 people, comprised of 10 children, 10 men, and two women, have died in Pakistan’s popular hill station Murree after heavy overnight snowfall caused traffic jams that trapped tourists in their vehicles, with many freezing to death when temperatures fell to -8c (17.6F) and some likely dying due to asphyxiation from car fumes. Thousands of vehicles had to be pulled from the snow, interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said, but more than a thousand were still stuck in the area on Saturday. Murree, 28 miles (45km) north of the capital of Islamabad, is visited by more than a million people annually. Roads into the city are often blocked by snow in winter.

It was founded during the colonial era as a 'hill station' where British administrators could escape the heat of the plains but has since become a resort popular with domestic tourists.

Hotels were running out of food and basic supplies like water and gas were hard to come by.

"People are facing a terrible situation," Usman Abbasi, a tourist stuck in the town where heavy snow was still falling, told AFP by phone.

"It's not only the tourists, but the local population is also facing severe problems."