Snowstorm kills at least 16 tourists, with hundreds stranded, at Pakistani resort

 Snowstorm kills at least 16 tourists, with hundreds stranded, at Pakistani resort

(CNN)At least 16 people have been killed in a snowstorm in the northeastern Pakistan resort town of Murree northeast of the capital Islamabad.

The tourists, who were stuck in a traffic jam, suffered from a “food crisis” after being stranded, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said in a video statement Saturday.

Rashid added that the government had called army and civil armed forces for emergency rescue operations for “nearly a thousand” vehicles still stranded.

    All roads to Murree will be closed for tourists and only open for people providing aid to those still stranded, the minister added.

      Snow began to fall Tuesday night and continued at regular intervals, leading to an influx of thousands of tourists, Reuters reported. But many families became stranded on roads due to the number of visitors, and with local media reporting that over 100,000 vehicles entered the hill station.

          Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had ordered an inquiry into the incident, adding that there was “unprecedented snowfall” and that a rush of people traveling to the area “without checking weather conditions caught district admin unprepared.”

          “Shocked & upset at tragic deaths of tourists on road to Murree,” he said on Twitter.

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