Extremely cold weather near the Lowari tunnel in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral district on Saturday claimed the life of a Peshawar-bound minor, police said.
An official of the Ashurat police post told DawnNews that thousands of Peshawar-bound passengers had been stuck near the Lowari tunnel due to a traffic jam following heavy snowfall.
The official added that the stranded passengers spent the cold night waiting for the opening of Lowari tunnel.
“The cold was unbearable,” a passenger said, recalling below freezing point temperatures.
Drosh police identified the boy, Rayanullah, 2 years of age, as the son of Hasrat Jan, a resident of Ursoon.
Area police said that Hasrat Jan was travelling from Chitral to Peshawar for his son’s treatment.
Another minor reportedly fell unconscious and was moved to a healthcare facility for treatment.
A large number of people took to the roads in the Drosh area to protest the incident.
District Nazim Chitral Syed Magfirat Shah strongly condemned the accident and termed it negligence on the part of the National Highway Authority (NHA).
He said authorities will register an FIR against NHA officials.
A police official of the Drosh police station said that thousands of passengers from Chitral and Peshawar had moved to the Lowari tunnel on Thursday night as the tunnel is opened for traffic only on Friday.
However, due to heavy snow, the route was blocked, cutting off the passengers from an easy route to Peshawar. Flights to Chitral remain suspended since the crash of a PIA ATR in December last year.