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Murree: 16 tourists stuck in cars die, Pak Army deployed

Murree, over 16 people died while being stranded in their cars owing to heavy snowfall in the hill station. The federal government deployed Pakistan Army to evacuate the remaining tourists as thousands currently remain stranded in the heavy snowfall.

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Murree, over 16 people died while being stranded in their cars owing to heavy snowfall in the hill station. The federal government deployed Pakistan Army to evacuate the remaining tourists.

According to reports, around 125,000 vehicles entered the city so far. Owing to the huge inflow of vehicles, in addition to the snow covering the roads, routes leading to Murree faced severe blockages and traffic jams. As a result, more than 16 people died stuck in their cars. Around 1000 cars still remain stranded in the heavy snowfall.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Saturday said Murree had “seen a huge number of tourists after 15-20 years”, and due to that, crisis took place.

Read more: Murree: Where no one is safe

The Minister said authorities called five platoons of the Pakistan Army, along with Rangers and Frontier Corps for rescue efforts on an emergency basis.

Currently, social media is full of videos from Murree as people share the updates. Countless cars remain buried under mounds of snow. Many people have to leave their cars and walk in the deep snow, looking for shelter.

Owing to the dire situation, the government has temporarily banned entry into Murree. “We have also decided to ban tourists who are planning on coming to Murree by walk; this is not the time to come to Murree,” Rasheed said. Only vehicles carrying relief goods and warm clothes are being allowed to go to Murree.

To clarify, snowfall, which began on Tuesday night and continued at regular intervals, attracted thousands of tourists who flocked to the small hill station to enjoy the weather.

Forecast of a snowstorm

To make matters worse, local administration forecasted rain and blizzards in and around Murree tonight, with thunderstorms at a speed of 50-90 kmph and heavy snowfall.

Authorities urged residents of Murree to not leave their homes as the severe weather conditions are likely to continue till late at night.

Earlier today, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry also appealed to people to not visit the hill station.

“A large crowd [is headed towards] Murree and other areas. Hundreds of thousands of cars are travelling to these areas. It is impossible for the local administration to provide facilities to people in such a large number,” he tweeted.

Read more: Restaurant staff allegedly beat up pregnant woman in Murree