Murree probe report holds admin responsible for tragedy

Committee to present findings to CM Buzdar tomorrow: Declares tourists’ experience horrible: Censures administration for late closure of roads and for ignoring weather warning: Suggests grand operation against illegal constructions: Wants hotels sealed which don’t provide car park facility

By: News Desk
Published: 04:52 PM, 16 Jan, 2022
Caption: FILE PIC
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An inquiry committee has completed its Murree tragedy investigation report holding the city administration responsible for the catastrophe while suggesting a grand operation against illegal constructions, buildings, plazas and hotels in the hilly resort, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A five-member inquiry committee was formed by the Punjab government to find reasons for the occurrence of the Murree tragedy in which at least 22 tourists who were stranded in their cars during a blizzard died of cold and by inhaling carbon monoxide gas which had filled up their vehicles as their exhaust pipes were clogged due to heavy snow. 

After completing its investigation report on Sunday, the committee set off for Lahore. It has given a shape of draft to its findings. The inquiry committee will present its report to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar tomorrow. 

The committee recorded the statements of those who survived the tragedy. It also scribbled down statements of more than 30 officers of administrative departments. 

The committee declared the experience of Murree vacationers on the night between 7 and 8 January a horrible happening. 

The report pointed finger at the administration holding it solely responsible for the tragedy.

According to the findings of report, the roads leading to Murree should have been closed after three days of snowfall. But they were shut after five days. 

The report also pointed that the snow removing machinery sat there but the operators were nowhere to be seen. It also noticed that the Metrological Office warning was also ignored.

The committee suggested that a grand operation against illegal constructions, hotels and plazas be launched and the administration seal the hotels which do not provide car park facilities.

Soon after the Murree tragedy, the Punjab government formed an inquiry committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Punjab for Home Affairs Zafar Nasrullah.

The committee was tasked to determine who was responsible for the Murree tragedy and investigate whether the government agencies had taken any joint action despite the stern warning of the Meteorological Department or not. The committee was also tasked to investigate why vehicles were not stopped in Islamabad to prevent entry into Murree and Galyat in large numbers.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also directed the inquiry committee to bring out the facts of the Murree tragedy as soon as possible.

A meeting of government leaders and spokespersons was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister in which the briefing was given on the Murree tragedy.

Reporter Usman Javed