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Pakistan forms committee to probe Murree tragedy

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 January 2022, 10:13 IST

Pakistan on Sunday formed a committee to probe the deaths of more than 20 people stranded in their vehicles in snow-hit Murree.

A notification was issued after the names of its members were finalised, according to which Additional Chief Secretary Home Zafar Nasrullah has been appointed as the convener, reported Geo News.

Provincial secretaries Ali Sarfaraz and Asad Gilani have been named as members of the committee.

In addition, Assistant Inspector General Farooq Mazhar has also been named as a member.

The death toll from heavy snowfall in Pakistan's Murree has surged to 23 as the forces evacuate over a thousand tourists from the affected area, reported local media.

The notification also listed the terms of reference under which the committee will operate.

According to these terms, the committee will ascertain which government departments were responsible for the crisis situation that unfolded in Murree, reported Geo News.

It will also assess what measures were taken to control the influx of visitors and vehicles.

Furthermore, the committee will look into what precautionary measures were taken by institutions in light of the weather advisory issued by the Met Office. It will determine whether a warning was run on media to dissuade people from travelling to the tourist destination, reported Geo News.

The committee will probe what traffic control measures were taken amid the snowstorm and after reports of the adverse weather conditions were received, what safety measures were implemented.

The report as a result of the findings obtained will be submitted to the provincial government in seven days, reported Geo News.

Initial report to Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar said that the 22 deaths on January 7 occurred due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

He announced Rs 17.6 million in financial assistance for the families of the deceased.
In a statement yesterday, Buzdar said that there were a total of 33,745 vehicles in Murree till

last night, much higher than what the hill station can accommodate.

According to the report, between January 3 and 7, 162,000 vehicles entered the city, reported Geo News.

Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Sunday said a ban on travel to Murree and Galiyat would continue for a further 24 hours, even as the authorities removed snow from all the major roads to normalise traffic at the hill station.

In a statement, the interior minister said that only the citizens of Murree and adjacent areas would be allowed to travel on these roads while showing their national identity cards, reported Geo News.


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First published: 10 January 2022, 10:01 IST