The human tragedy in Murree has resulted in the loss of dozens of lives. The deaths of tourists have saddened people across the country.
Thousands of tourists, including women and children, are still stranded. The government has declared Murree a disaster area and launched an emergency rescue operation.
Step by Government
All government agencies, including the army and Rangers, are currently engaged in relief operations.
But the accident did not happen overnight. Just last week, the Meteorological Department had forecast a blizzard in Murree for several days. Due to school holidays, a large number of tourists from all over the country flocked to Murree. With each passing day, the number of tourists in Murree increased.
Meanwhile, the administration and the government did not take any steps to stop the people from dying. On Wednesday, January 5, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry wrote on Twitter that the entry of 100,000 vehicles in Murree was good news. Nearly one lakh vehicles have entered. Rents of hotels and residences increased many times than regular rent.
Excessive Traffic in Murree
However, according to the Murree administration, only 4,000 vehicles can be parked in Murree. There was bound to be a problem when such a large number of vehicles landed in Murree. during the snowy season. Then the local population also passes through Murree via Galyaat and Muzaffarabad. Due to this, the increase in road traffic is certain.
Things started to get worse on Friday. When the heavy snowfall that started at 12 noon did not stop and continued till 5 am on Saturday. There was a severe between Friday and Saturday night.
According to local resident Tauqeer Abbas. The snowfall was as heavy as a strong wind on Friday night and the locals had not seen such heavy snowfall for a long time.
On Friday evening, the administration realized the seriousness of the matter, and the roads leading to Murree were closed. But it was delayed by that time as according to the administration. 130,000 vehicles had entered Murree by Friday evening.
Heavy snowfall on narrow road from Jhika Gali to Kaldana
In such severe weather, the movement of vehicles was stopped and trees fell in many places.
According to Tauqeer Abbasi, the power also went out at 8 pm. Jhika Gali in Murree is the crossroads through which vehicles heading towards Kashmir also pass. And there is also a road leading to Bhurban and Nathia Gali. The weather is even colder there.
According to local MNA Sadaqat Abbasi, there were trees that fell on the way. After which there was a traffic jam in Jhika Gali.
Heavy Snow Fall
Heavy snowfall was also reported on the narrow road from Jhika Gali to Kaldana and vehicles were also affected.
On the other hand, due to traffic jams, snow removal machines could not clear the road. Due to which people were forced to spend the night in their vehicles in severe weather. During this time many people turned on the heaters in the vehicles and closed the windows to avoid the blizzard. but this caused a lack of oxygen and caused many deaths.
Mustansir Abbasi, a resident of a local hotel, told Urdu News that he left Bansra Gali on foot for Bhurban at 8 am and reached Kaldana in five hours. “Vehicles were stuck here and there on the way and many vehicles were buried in the snow. The bodies of several people were being dumped in the ambulances but the ambulances could not find their way.
He said that the administration was not mobilized till Friday evening which was a big mistake. But rescue operations have been started since Saturday morning. Along with the local administration and police. Army personnel is also taking part in the rescue operation. People are also being shifted to a military cantonment near Kashmiri Bazaar.
The locals are also facing severe difficulties and due to road closures. Not only the supply of food and medicine is cut off but also the patients cannot be taken to the hospitals.
Most tourists killed on Kaldana Road
Islamabad police said on Saturday that ASI Naveed Iqbal along with his wife and children were killed due to heavy snowfall on Kaldana Road in Murree last night.
On the other hand, the spokesperson of Rescue 1122 in Murree said that most of the tourists were killed on Kaldana Road. A rescue spokesman said 16 bodies had been recovered from four vehicles on Kaldana Road.
A spokesman for Rescue 1122 said rescue workers and machinery were having difficulty reaching the site due to the snow.
According to Murree police, the bodies of four young tourists were found in a vehicle in Bariyan. However, it was not known that rescue officials and police were reporting the same incident separately.
Adeel Ahmed, a tourist from Islamabad told Urdu News. People were enjoying the snowfall but due to heavy snowfall, he and his friend decided to return. He said that the road was slippery due to snow while many vehicles were slipping on the side.
Imtiaz Ahmed, a resident of Murree, said: “I have seen the situation in Kaldana. Vehicles look like mass graves. Such a tragedy was never seen in Murree. and such mismanagement was never seen. The situation got worse and worse.
We feel really sorry for all of them whose love ones passed away in this incident.
Details of deaths due to snowfall in Murree
- Zahid Kamal, 27, son of appearance in Kerry Bolan.
- Ashfaq 31-year-old son Jonah Gujranwala car No LEA-9312.
- Maroof’s son Ashraf age 31 Lahore, car number LEA-9312.
- Unknown male age 30 Lahore car LEA-9312.
- Naveed Iqbal son of Muraqib ASI Islamabad Police age 49 car number 483.
- Mrs. Naveed Iqbal age 43 car number 483.
- four daughters two sons Naveed Iqbal name unknown.
- Asad son Zaman Shah age 22, Mardan car number VXR-NG-424.
- Muhammad Bilal son Ghaffar Umar 21 Mardan Car No. VXR-NG-424.
- Muhammad Bilal Hussain son of Syed Ghous Khan Umar 24 Karachi, Car No. VXR-424.
- Muhammad Shehzad son of Ismail Umar 46 Rawalpindi.
- Mrs. Shehzad Umar 35 and her one child.