Committee set up to investigate Murree tourists deaths

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On Sunday, the Punjab government announced to form a five-member committee to complete the inquiry and determine the responsibility of the unfortunate Murree incident within seven days.

The Punjab government has formed a committee to investigate the loopholes that led to the deaths of 21 tourists in the northern hill station of Murree.

According to media reports, the committee will investigate whether severe weather warnings were disseminated and issued adequately and whether there were mechanisms to regulate traffic flow into the tourist resort town. It will be examined why the entry of vehicles was not halted once the number of tourists became unsustainable.

According to the official figures, more than 157,000 vehicles entered Murree between Friday and Saturday, when heavy snowfall began.

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An investigation report into the Murree tragedy – wherein tourists had died while stuck in their vehicles on Friday night – said that the hill station roads had not been repaired adequately for the last two years. The report noted that snow accumulated in the crevices had hardened, causing the traffic jam.

The preliminary investigative report was submitted to the provincial government on Sunday. It disclosed that a slippery spot outside a cafe in Murree led to the main exit from the hill station clogging. There was no government machinery to free the road of snow that could have given the tourists means to escape.

It was revealed that due to power outages in Murree, tourists preferred to stay in vehicles instead of moving to hotels.

The report said that due to the intervention of the deputy commissioner and central police officer Rawalpindi on Saturday night, the entry of vehicles in Murree was banned.

As per the report, there is no adequate parking plaza in Murree where people could park their vehicles.

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