KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- At least 150 bodies were pulled from vehicles buried by an avalanche in the Salang Pass in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday
Basir Salangi, governor of Parwan province, said miles of highway were affected by the series of avalanches that struck Monday and Tuesday, The New York Times reported.
"We are going to find a lot more people under here," Salangi told reporters at one section about 1,000 feet below the summit of the Salang Pass.
Officials in Kabul said heavy winds and rain touched off 17 avalanches that buried more than two miles of highway on the Salang Pass, which connects Kabul with northern Afghanistan.
As of Tuesday night, about 2,500 people were extracted from their vehicles and about 1 1/2 miles of roads were cleared, the Times reported.
The Afghan National Army deployed 500 troops to help with rescue operations. In a statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered officials "to use all possible means to get the roads unblocked and rescue those trapped and stranded in the heavy snow."
NATO and Afghan National Army helicopters also participated in the effort.