Heavy snowfall near Bakak Kotel has left around 150 travellers stranded on the Ghor-Kabul highway since Sunday. And they say conditions are worsening as they ask for immediate help.
“We left Ghor for Kabul yesterday morning. Eight vehicles, vans, and cars, are stuck near Bakak Kotel due to heavy snow and a storm,” explains Khair Mohammad, one of the passengers, to Zan Times on Monday.
He adds, “80 to 90 passengers, including children and women, are stuck and the weather is cold. If the route is not opened, the children and patients will die from the cold,” he worries.
Sirajuddin, a veteran driver of the highway, confirms Khair Mohammad’s account, telling Zan Times that he and 14 passengers left Kabul for Ghor yesterday [Sunday] but were unable to cross Bakak Kotel due to heavy snowfall and a storm.
“We had to take refuge in Yakawlang district of Bamyan and are waiting for the road to open,” he adds.
According to him, about 60 passengers, including children and women, are stuck on his side of Bakak Kotel and need urgent help. Bakak Kotel is a mountainous area on the border between Ghor and Bamyan provinces and is notorious for its snowfall and severe storms, which can frequently close the highway in winter.
The drivers and passengers stranded on the highway say that they have repeatedly contacted the local Taliban officials in Ghor and Bamyan provinces, but help has not yet arrived.
The local Taliban in Ghor province claim that they are trying to reopen the highway and save the stranded passengers.