Rifaqatullah Razarwal

Four members of a family from Mardan, who had lost their lives in Saturday snowstorm in Murree, were laid to rest in their ancestral villages.

Asadullah, a resident of Tazagaram village of Mardan had died stranded in his motorcar along with three other friends during the Saturday snowstorm. Sohail was laid to rest in Mian Esa locality, Mohammad Bilal’s in Charchor area, while Asad and Mohammad Bilal Hussain were buried in Tazagram village of Katlang tehsil.

Ashraf Khan, one of the Asad’s uncles, told TNN that his nephew has lost his father at an earlier age. He said that Asad was only brother of seven sisters and father of five months old boy.

“A relative who lives in Karachi informed us about the Asad’s death,” he said. Mr Khan said the news of Asad and his friends’ death was confirmed around the Saturday’s afternoon.

“All the four youth were members of same family,” Mr Khan said. He said that two of the youths were his nephews while other two were his cousins.

Faisal, a businessman told TNN that Asad was his business partner in steel bar business. He said that, together, they have gone to Murree on several occasion; however, this time Asad went with his friends.

Mr Faisal said that he received the Asad’s death news from social media. “I tried calling him; however, a stranger picked up his phone and informed about Asad’s death,” Mr Faisal said.

He said that immediately left for Murree to receive the bodies; however, told to go to Rawalpindi Kidney Hospital to receive the bodies.

Mr Faisal said criticized the authorities to authorities for letting more vehicles than the capacity of hill-station.

Social media criticism of Murree incident handling

On the other hand, social media users are criticizing government over the handling of Murree snowstorm. Besides, the social media users are also debating the performance of disaster management authorities, district administration and other agencies.

On the other hand, Punjab government has formed a committee to probe the matter, besides, announcing Rs 800,000 compensation per head for the dead.

Punjab chief minister Usmand Buzdar has also announced to setup two police stations and two parking plazas in the hill station.

Initial inquiry report of the incident has been presented to the Punjab chief minister. The report said that the hill-station received four feet of snow in seven hours on January 7. Besides, more than 162,000 vehicles also entered the hill-station from January 3 to 7.

It said that 22 stranded people died in their cars due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  On the other hand, fallen tree trunks blocked traffic on at least 16 places.

The report said that the authorities also evacuated nearly 21,000 vehicles from the hill-station. Mr Buzdar expressed his annoyance over allowing more vehicles than the capacity in Murree.

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