Salang Pass reopens after storm threat subsides
CHARIKAR (PAN): The Salang Pass, a major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital Kabul with several northern provinces, reopened on Saturday, hours later it was blocked by a heavy snowstorm, the highway maintenance authority said."
The road that was closed around 5am and reopened in the afternoon left stranded hundreds of vehicles -- most of them packed with passengers travelling between Kabul and nine northern provinces -- on both sides of the tunnel, the Salang maintenance commander said.
Gen. Abdul Rajab told Pajhwok Afghan News the vehicles, which had been stopped in the Jabalus Saraj district of central Parwan province and in the Tajikan area of northern Baghlan to avoid possible accidents, had been allowed to move after snow-removing work finished.
Almost every winter, heavy snowfalls on the Salang Pass leads to the death of many people. In Feb. 2010, 170 people died and 125 were injured as a result of heavy snowstorms and avalanches that hit the Russian-built tunnel.
Passengers confirmed the tunnel had been reopened, saying a large number of cars, trucks and buses were stranded on both sides of the 2,676-metre long tunnel since early morning.
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