Salang Pass reopens for trafficBy Farid Tanha Jan 23, 2012 - 11:18
CHARIKAR (PAN): The Salang Pass, linking the capital Kabul with northern Afghanistan on Monday reopened for traffic, hours after a heavy snowstorm closed northern and southern parts of the key highway, officials said.
A snowstorm that started on Sunday night caused avalanches, which covered a large portion of the road, stranding dozens of vehicles. But the route was reopened on Monday morning for traffic after 10 hours blockade, the Salang commander, Gen. Rajab, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Trucks were still stranded in the both sides of the pass and would be permitted to travel once the tunnel was completely cleared, he added.
Jabalus Saraj district traffic officer, Naeemullah, said they had stopped dozens of vehicles on Sunday night at the Tajikan area of the district. But, they allowed passenger vehicles at around 7am to ply to their destinations and would allow trucks and loaded vehicles soon, he added.
In winters, heavy snowfalls on the Salang pass lead to the death of many people every year. On Feb. 8, 2010 170 people died and 125 were injured as a result of heavy snowstorms and avalanches that hit the Russian-built tunnel.