22 people trapped in a car in heavy snow at a Pakistani resort

Islamabad (AP) — At least 22 people, including 10 children, died in a popular mountain resort town in Pakistan after being trapped overnight in a heavy snow storm due to a plunge in temperature. Officials said on Saturday.

Most of the victims died of hypothermia, officials said. Among them were Islamabad police officers and seven other members of his family, said fellow police officer Atiq Ahmed.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said it snowed more than four feet (1 meter) in the area of ​​Marie Hills Resort early Friday and Saturday, trapping thousands of cars on the road. Umal McBourg, deputy director of the town of Marie, said the snow was so bad that the heavy equipment brought in to remove it was initially stuck in the middle of the night. The temperature has dropped to -8 degrees Celsius (17.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Authorities sought support from paramilitary organizations and special military mountain forces. By the end of Saturday, thousands of vehicles had been pulled out of the snow, but more than 1000 were still stuck, Ahmed said.

Most of the roads leading to the resorts in the area had been cleared of snow by the end of Saturday, and the rest of the roads were being cleared by the military, McBourg said. The military also turned military-run schools into rescue camps and provided shelter and food to rescued tourists.

Rescuers handed out food and blankets to people while trapped in a snowy car, but many died of hypothermia. According to rescue team doctor Abdul Lehmann, some people died of carbon monoxide poisoning after prolonged use of car heaters. By the end of Saturday, Lehmann said the death toll included 10 men, 10 children and 2 females.

In one example, a husband, wife and their two children all died in the car. In another example, four young friends died together.

Located 28 miles (46 km) north of Islamabad’s capital, Marie is a popular winter resort town that attracts more than one million tourists each year. The streets leading to the town are often blocked by snow in winter.


The Associated Press writer Asim Tanveer contributed to this report.