UN Chief, Pope Francis offer condolences over Murree tragedy
Death toll in Murree snowstorm climbs to 23
ISLAMABAD – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, offered their condolences over the deaths of tourists during a snowstorm in Murree.
A statement issued by UN Secretary-General said, he expressed his condolences on the death of 23 people after a deadly snowstorm trapped them in their vehicles as tens of thousands of tourists thronged Pakistan's hill station of Murree.
“As in any incident and tragic loss of life, our sympathies go out to the victims,” Guterres spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said.
Meanwhile, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church expressed grief about the tragedy that occurred in Pakistan's most visited hill station. Additional prayers were made for those killed in the tragedy during a ceremony in the Vatican, reports claimed. Sorrowed Pope Francis said he shared his sorrow with the bereaved families.
At least 23 persons, including women and children, lost their lives in freezing temperature on Friday night as they were trapped in road jams due to heavy snowstorm.
Around 155,000 cars entered the scenic hill station near the country’s federal capital with only 35,000 parking places available. Massive pile-ups of cars and vans could be seen on snow-covered roads, with nowhere to escape or to flee for safety as women and children remained trapped into vehicles in subzero temperatures.
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Many of the guests were said to be crying out for assistance, which was not forthcoming. Civil administration acted haphazardly, while rescue and relief work was being carried out by the Pakistan Army officials with other authorities.
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