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Salang Pass reopens for traffic

Salang Pass reopens for traffic

Mar 15, 2012 - 12:26

CHARIKAR (PAN): The Salang Pass, linking the capital Kabul with northern Afghanistan, on Thursday reopened for traffic, five days after a heavy snowstorm closed the key highway's northern and southern parts, officials said.

The snowstorm threats had subsided and both sides of the tunnel had been cleared of snow after four people were killed in avalanches, the Salang Pass Maintenance head, Gen. Abdul Rajab, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

All stranded passenger buses which were stopped for security reasons had been allowed to move through the mountainous pass. Heavy traffic would also soon be allowed to move, he added.

He said possible snow-slide was still threatening the highway, adding the Afghan and international servicemembers would cooperate to create artificial avalanche to keep the mountain Pass open during the Gul-I-Surkh festival.  

Mohammad Yosuf Pardis, the Charikar traffic department chief, confirmed the highway has been reopen, saying loaded trucks would also start their movement shortly.

In winters, heavy snowfalls on the Salang Pass lead to the death of many people every year. In Feb. 2010, 170 people died and 125 were injured as a result of heavy snowstorms and avalanches that hit the Russian-built tunnel.