One killed after tree falls on vehicle in Leepa Valley.


Byline: Tariq Naqash

MUZAFFARABAD -- A man was killed and another critically injured after a snow-laden tree fell on their vehicle on Leepa Valley Road, as high altitude areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) received the first snowfall of the season on Wednesday, officials said.

The victims were travelling through the 10,000 feet high Birthwar Galli Road when their vehicle met the accident at about 12:30pm, said Raja Imran Shaheen, deputy commissioner of Jhelum valley district, of which Leepa valley is an administrative unit.

The deceased, who was being brought to Muzaffarabad for medical check up, was identified as 72 years old Hafiz Abdul Rehman Awan while the injured person, who was at the wheel, was identified as Abdul Qayyum Mughal.

Mr Shaheen said due to heavy snow some six vehicles were stuck up at Leepa Valley Road, leaving some 50 people, including nine women and one child, stranded for several hours.

A rescue operation was launched with the help of army and by 6pm, 20 of them were evacuated to Reshian and the rest back to Leepa valley, he said.

AJK Minister for Forests Sardar Mir Akbar Khan, who had gone to Leepa valley on a two-day visit on Tuesday, was also stuck up there due to road blockade, the deputy commissioner said.

'The road can only be cleared after stoppage of rain and snowfall,' Mr Shaheen said, asking people not to travel between Leepa and Reshian until the weather condition...

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