Several Chileans that were stuck in a snowstorm at the border with Argentina were rescued by the military. They were trapped as two accidents caused major traffic jams. Meanwhile, the interior minister announced an investigation.
Over 250 vehicles trapped at the Paso Los Libertadores border crossing between Chile and Argentina were evacuated with the help of the army.
Telecommunications and transport minister Juan Carlos García told Radio Universo on Monday that “as the weather allows, people will be evacuated from the area.” He added that the government is trying to clear the highway as fast as possible but a truck stuck in Cristo Redentor tunnel complicated matters further.
Problems began July 9, when two accidents in both directions caused traffic jams while a snowstorm was approaching. The accidents dramatically shortened the window of opportunity authorities were expecting and which was reportedly the basis of their decision to open the pass.
But with the onset of heavy snowfall, efforts to get traffic flowing faltered and 400 persons were rescued by soldiers and taken to shelters.
In a statement on Sunday, Interior Minister Izkia Siches announced an investigation, adding, “we have preliminary information that the weather conditions allowed the opening of the border crossing.”
Catalina Vergara is graduated in Social Communications from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has previously worked on Strategic Communications.