At least 16 tourists were killed in freezing temperatures at a hotel in Pakistan on Saturday due to a blizzard that blocked access roads, officials said in a statement. Reuters.
Thousands of tourists flocked to Murree, northeast of the capital Islamabad, on Saturday to enjoy the snow, but many were stranded as the storm blocked access roads.
“For the first time in 15-20 years, we have received such a large number of tourists to Murree, which has caused a huge crisis,” the Pakistani interior minister said.
He said about 1,000 cars were still stuck at the resort, with 16 to 19 people killed in their own cars.
Army and paramilitary forces were stationed in the area to assist the civilian administration in resolving the crisis. On Friday night, the government announced that all roads to the resort would be closed to prevent the arrival of tourists.
The rescue operation continues by sending helicopters to rescue those trapped in their cars and allowing the weather. Police officers and several battalion soldiers are trying to clear the snowy roads during the operation.
More than 23,000 vehicles were evacuated from the area on Friday night, the Punjab government said in a statement.
According to the Meteorological Agency, the ice layer in Murray was about one meter high, and Friday night temperatures dropped below zero.
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