Three die at snow-blocked mountain pass in Pakistan
( dpa ) - Three people froze to death while attempting to walk through a mountain pass that was blocked to vehicles by snow in north-western Pakistan, a news report said Sunday.
The deceased were part of a group that was trekking across the Lowari Pass on Saturday to reach Chitral district in the North-West Frontier Province, The News daily quoted local police chief Sher Akbar as saying.
Physical fatigue presumably caused them to lag behind their companions and inhospitable conditions took a fatal toll on them, Akbar said.
Another person was rendered unconscious with hypothermia but was rescued.
Authorities recovered one body but blizzard conditions forced them to abandon their efforts, the police chief said.
Lowari Pass, the shortest access to Chitral valley from the south, generally remains closed for vehicles from November to May, with travellers preferring to cross it on foot rather than opting for alternative routes, including one through neighbouring Afghanistan.
An 8-kilometre-plus railroad tunnel is being built to provide an all-weather passage.