Salang Pass closed for traffic
KABUL (PAN): The key Salang Pass, connecting northern provinces with capital Kabul has been closed for traffic due to heavy snowfalls and snowstorms, and cleaning the route was underway, officials said on Saturday.
According to Salang Pass Maintenance head, Gen. Abdul Rajab, the highway was blocked for traffic in order to prevent possible casualties of passengers. More than 400 workers with 50 vehicles were cleaning the pass, he said.
As many as eight avalanches were seen since last night and there was possibility of others, he said, adding there was 90 centimetres snow in the south and 60 centimetres in the northern parts of the pass.
More than 100 trucks and cars were stopped in Jablus Saraj district situated in the southern part of the tunnel. Deputy minister of public works, Ahmad Shah, on the other hand said that the highway will be reopened for traffic in the afternoon.
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.