The five-member committee formed by the government to probe the Murree tragedy has completed its investigation and has revealed that “the incident happened due to administrative negligence.”
It is learnt that, after completing its investigation, based on interviews of victims and administrative officials, the committee members departed from the hill station for Lahore.
A senior Punjab government official said that the inquiry committee is preparing a draft of the probe’s findings, which will be presented to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar within two or three days.
He said the probe committee prepared its report after recording the statements of victims and more than 30 officers from different administrative departments in Murree.
The probe has revealed that on the day of the incident, several snow ploughs were parked on roads which resulted in traffic blockages, the administrative staff was absent from duty, while a blizzard warning from the metrological department was blatantly neglected.
The committee has recommended sealing all illegal hotels, plazas, and construction sites at the hill station. It has also recommended sealing of all those hotels, shopping malls, and apartments where parking spaces have not been provided.
Declaring illegal constructions and encroachments on the Murree Expressway and adjoining highways a “major obstacle” to the flow of traffic, the committee has suggested a “grand operation” be conducted in Murree.
On January 8, at least 23 tourists had died due to carbon monoxide poisoning while being stuck in their cars as thousands of vehicles ended up being stranded in Murree due to heavy snowfall.