By our correspondent
Thousands of passengers have been stranded on the Karakoram Highway in Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkha, from the last 24 hours due to heavy snowfall. The highway has been completely blocked from Chatarplain to Batgram.
According to our correspondent, about 400 to 500 vehicles, a majority of them passenger coaches, coasters, buses and vans, have come to a halt on the KKH near Chatar Plain, Khyber Pakhtoonkha. Most of the passengers are headed for Gilgit-Baltistan and hundreds of them walked several kilometers to find safe ways and alternative vehicles. An ambulance carrying a patient was also spotted among the stranded vehicles.
The stranded passengers include children, women, the elderly and the ailing. Speaking to our correspondent, one passenger said that he is travelling along with his family to Gilgit and now fears that they might soon run out of money to buy food for his family members because they have been trapped in the snowfall for more than 24 hours now. The man also complained that restaurant owners are taking undue advantage of the situation and charging heavy amount from the stranded passengers.
About 20 to 25 passenger vehicles were stopped by authorities in Mansehra at 9 p.m. Thursday as a precautionary measure to avoid possible accidents in wake of the heavy snowfall. The vehicles were allowed to move ahead at 8 a.m. Friday. It has also been learned that temperature has also fallen down significantly in the area, resulting in more troubles for the stranded passengers.
The snowfall has also resulted in heavy traffic jam on the KKH, our correspondent said. Moreover, authorities with three snow blowing machines were desperately trying to clear the highway, but one of the machines unfortunately met an accident, skidding from the highway into a deep space.
According to sources, heavy snowfall is in progress across Kohistan and the KKH is feared to remain closed for yet another day.