Pakistan horror snowstorm: 21 dead as after blizzard wipes out north

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Thousands of vehicles became stranded in a blizzard on Saturday. The tourists, who were stuck in a traffic jam, suffered from a “food crisis” – due to a lack of supplies – after being stranded, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said.

Snow began to fall on Tuesday night around Murree, 28 miles north of the capital, Islamabad.

Around four feet of snow fell quickly in the area, which is popular with domestic tourists.

But many became stranded on roads due to the number of visitors. Local media reported over 100,000 vehicles entered Murree.

Among the dead are 10 men, 10 children and two women. Some died as a result of hypothermia, others due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to officials.

Rescue officials said victims were found dead in their vehicles.

The dead included a family of four daughters and two sons, all under 15 years of age.

Eight of the 22 who died at mountain resort town of Murree were from the family of a police officer. The policeman also died. 

Rescue efforts during the night were hampered by the amount of snow, authorities said. Clearing equipment became stuck at first.

Murree is a popular tourist destination and draws in hundreds of thousands of domestic and international tourists every year.

A few days prior to the snowfall, Fawad Chaudhry, the Pakistani information minister, praised the heavy inflow of tourists, saying 100,000 vehicles had travelled to Murree.

But on Saturday, Mr Chaudhry issued pleas for visitors to cancel their travel plans as it quickly became impossible for local officials to handle such large numbers.

As disaster struck, the prime minister appeared to be blame tourists for ignoring the warnings and not checking the weather.



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