Latest News

21 dead after thousands of tourists left stranded as routes to Murree closed amid heavy snowfall

Five platoons of Army and personnel of Rangers and Frontier Corps have been summoned in for the rescue operation as local administrations crumbed in face of the daunting situation.

19 die in Murree21 dead after thousands of tourists in Muree | OyeYeah News
Views

19 people were initially reported to have died after thousands of tourists were left stranded as routes to Murree were closed due to heavy snowfall.

Casualties feared to rise after thousands spent the night on roads stuck in their cars in freezing temperature. 

According to a list issued by Rescue 1122, 21 people died, including nine children.

On Friday, the city district administration announced the decision to ban entry of vehicles in Murree after declaring an emergency amid heavy snowfall and tourists’ rush in the hill station.

A large number of tourists remained stranded in Murree and flights faced delays as the rain continued to lash the federal capital and Rawalpindi for the fourth consecutive day on Friday.

Following the calamity, the government has deployed Pakistan Army, civil-armed forces to evacuate tourists from Murree.

As being reported, five platoons of Army and personnel of Rangers and Frontier Corps have been summoned in for the rescue operation as local administrations crumbed in face of the daunting situation.

Read More: Murree closed for all types of traffic amid heavy snowfall and tourists’ rush

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, in a video message, said tourists had flocked to the hill station in such large numbers “for the first time in 15 to 20 years which created a big crisis”.

He added that the government was forced to close the road from Islamabad to Murree.

“Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s commissioners, deputy commissioners, police, are carrying out rescue operations,” he said.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed added that they have received reports that the number of deaths inside the vehicles buried under the snow was 16 to 19 including women and children.

“As many as 1,000 vehicles have been stuck since night […] some have been evacuated; 16-19 deaths took place in cars. The locals provided food and blankets to the stranded people,” he said.

The interior minister said the authorities would evacuate 1,000 vehicles by today evening, while the roads would remain closed to Murree till tomorrow at 9 pm.

“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.

https://twitter.com/ShkhRasheed/status/1479685505960734720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1479685505960734720%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.samaa.tv%2Fnews%2F2022%2F01%2Fmurree-snow-21-tourists-stranded-in-cars-freeze-to-death%2F

 

CM Punjab Usman Buzdar shared the update on Murree’s situation in a tweet on Saturday.

“All agencies in the Murree area have been directed to expedite the process of rescue and evacuation of citizens and vehicles trapped in the snow and to send more machinery and relief goods from Rawalpindi. More than 23,000 vehicles were evacuated from the area last night and the rescue operation is underway,” he tweeted.

https://twitter.com/UsmanAKBuzdar/status/1479710365206257665

Thousands of stranded visitors spent their night on roads, in their vehicles buried under the snow, and kept calling for help.

https://twitter.com/ctprwp/status/1479520017310011400

 

Around 125,000 vehicles enter the city so far, due to which severe traffic jam was witnessed.

the authorSaman Siddiqui
Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.