Afghan avalanches may have killed 70
Officials say Afghan avalanches on a mountain pass north of Kabul may have killed up to 70 people as rescuers evacuated more than 400 injured.
Interior Minister Hanif Atmar said yesterday that rescuers have already recovered 24 bodies but fear that more than 40 others have already died. Some 2,500 people have already been rescued from their snow-blocked vehicles, he said.
Afghan and coalition forces have evacuated about 430 injured, with 180 taken by coalition helicopters to Bagram Airbase for medical treatment, the Defence Ministry said. The 250 others were taken to hospitals nearby.
The avalanches struck Monday following heavy snow in the 12,000-foot Salang Pass that links the Afghan capital Kabul with the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Avalanches roared down a mountain pass north of Afghanistan's capital, killing at least 28 people and leaving hundreds more stranded in their vehicles on snow-blocked roads, officials said Tuesday.
Another 70 people were injured and transported to hospitals as the military and police continued rescue efforts to dig out those trapped in the snow, an Afghan Defence Ministry statement said. Some 1,500 people were rescued, it said.
The avalanches struck Monday following heavy snow in the Salang Pass that links the Afghan capital Kabul with the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Suhrab Ali Safari, acting public works minister, told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Salang a strong snowstorm overnight triggered a major avalanche that covered about 2 miles (3.5 kilometres) of road.