At least 21 people, including 10 children, have died after heavy snow trapped them in their vehicles in northern Pakistan.
Most of the victims in the popular mountain resort town of Murree froze to death in their cars, police said, while others died of carbon monoxide poisoning after running the heaters for long periods of time.
Up to 1,000 vehicles were stranded yesterday as tourists flock to see the winter snowfall in the hilltop town, according to reports.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said more than 4 meters of snow fell in the area of the Murree Hills resort on Friday night and early today, leaving thousands of cars stranded on the roads.
The temperature has dropped to minus 8 degrees Celsius.
Among the victims were an Islamabad police officer and seven other members of his family.
The snow was so heavy that the heavy equipment brought in for cleanup initially got stuck in the night.
Officials then called in paramilitary troops and a special mountain military unit to help.
By this evening, thousands of vehicles had been removed from the ice and snow, but more than a thousand vehicles were still stuck.
Most of the roads leading to resorts in the area are now cleared of snow.
The military also converted military-run schools into relief camps, where they provided shelter and food for rescued travelers.
Emergency officials distributed food and blankets to people while they were trapped in snow-covered vehicles, but it was too late to save those who died of hypothermia.
Others may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning after running car heaters for long periods of time, said rescue agency Dr Abdur Rehman.
So far, the death toll has included 10 men, 10 children and two women, but the number could rise.
In one case, a husband and a wife and their two children all died in their car.
In another case, four young friends died together, he said.
Located 28 miles north of the capital Islamabad, Murree is a popular winter resort town that attracts more than a million tourists annually.
The roads leading into the town are often blocked by snow in the winter.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4422377/murree-snow-storm-kids-trapped-cars-freeze-death-suffocate/ Snowstorm Murree left 10 children in their cars freezing and suffocating as 125,000 vehicles got stuck on a mountain road