At least 22 people, including 10 children, died after heavy snow trapped them in their vehicles at a resort town in Pakistan.
According to officials, 22 of nearly 100,000 visitors in thousands of vehicles in the town of Murree died overnight on Jan. 7 either from the cold or carbon monoxide poisoning from the car engines.
At least six of the victims froze to death in their cars as the temperature dropped to 8 degrees Celsius overnight, officials said.
Officials added that many of the victims suffered from hypothermia.
Tariq Ullah, an administrative official in nearby Nathia Gali, told AFP News on Jan. 9 that he “never saw such a huge snowstorm in my life.”
“There were strong winds, uprooted trees, avalanches,” Ullah also said.
In a statement on Twitter, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked and upset” by the deaths, calling the snowfall “unprecedented.”
Khan also said that the local administration was caught “unprepared.”
However, Pakistan’s National Weather Forecasting Center said on Jan. 6 that “heavy snowfall” could cause road closures in Murree and in other places.
Khan said that he has ordered an inquiry and has put into place a regulation “to ensure prevention of such tragedies.”
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced on Twitter that tourists are temporarily banned from going to Murree, adding that the situation was under “constant scrutiny.”
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