Slides close roads and claim lives / News / The Foreigner

Slides close roads and claim lives. 17th May celebrations marred by tragedy. Fast-rising temperatures in Norway have caused both transport chaos and fatalities in the last few days.Fate Eight experienced skiers were hit by mountain of snow, ice, rocks, and water near Jamtfjelltinden south of Mosjøen in Vefsn municipality in Nordland on Sunday.

helgeland, mo, rana, nordland, jamtfjelltinden, mosjoen, vefsn, broennoey, skiers, accident, tragedy, nordlandsbanen, dovrebanen,



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Slides close roads and claim lives

Published on Tuesday, 18th May, 2010 at 15:01 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

17th May celebrations marred by tragedy.

Helegeland hospital (2007)
Helegeland hospital (2007)
Photo: Sandivas/Wikimedia Commons


Fast-rising temperatures in Norway have caused both transport chaos and fatalities in the last few days.

Fate

Eight experienced skiers were hit by mountain of snow, ice, rocks, and water near Jamtfjelltinden south of Mosjøen in Vefsn municipality in Nordland on Sunday.

Two were killed, and two others are still missing, presumed dead. According to police, a further two were injured and taken to Helgeland Hospital in Mo i Rana, whilst the others escaped relatively unharmed.

The other victim wasn’t killed immediately, however. According to NRK, her friends dug her out alive, but only managed to say a few words to her before she was swept away by a second slide.

“They stood by a stream and were assessing the possibility of crossing it. Whilst they were standing there the first slide took the whole group with it. Then the second slide came, dragging parts of the group further down the mountain with it,” Chief of Staff, John-Helge Vang, in Helgeland District Police told NRK yesterday.

Locals told VG at the time of the accident slides in the area aren’t particularly common, and they believe the eight were the victims of fate.

“There’s little to stop a torrent of stones and ice pouring down the mountain all the way to the bottom. You haven’t got a chance if you’re caught up in it,” said Roy Brubakk, head of Brurskanken turlag.

Shocked

Yesterday was a sad 17th May for the inhabitants of Mosjøen, where three of the party, who were sisters, came from.

“Many woke up to the flag at half mast today. It’s very sad. The mood should have been high, but is lacklustre instead.  It’s dramatic, and many are affected by what has happened,” said Mayor Jann-Arne Løvdahl.

A helicopter search for the two missing skiers was carried out, but was called off out of safety considerations.

Bad weather and local conditions are hampering their efforts to resume it today, and police say they will come with an update as soon as there are any developments.

Police have released the names of four of the party: Both Berit Rugeldal (b. 1963) and Tove Peggy Åkerøy (b. 1964), both from Vefsn municipality were killed. The two missing, presumed dead, are Bjørg Heidi Åkerøy (b. 1966) from Vefsn municipality, and Therese Mari Åkerøy (b. 1989) from the municipality of Brønnøy.

Road and rail chaos

Earlier this morning, the Norwegian Public Roads Authority (Statens vegvesen/NPRA) announced roads from as far south as Bærum up to Nordland in the north are closed due to rockslides, mudslides and flooding.

“The situation has been difficult all weekend. Heavy snow melting and resulting high water levels have led to many problems in Nordland,” Grete Turmo, the NRPA’s on-duty operations spokesperson in Nordland tells NRK.

NSB say the scenic trans-Polar Circle Nordlandsbanen is out of operation between Dunderland in the municipality of Rana and Rognan in Saltdal municipality in Nordland. The slide took 20,000 cubic metres of earth away, and NSB doesn’t expect the stretch of line to open again until this Friday at the earliest.

And Dovrebanen between Tretten and Ringebu in Gudbrandsdalen on Østlandet was also partially closed yesterday evening due to flooding. Police say several residents had to be evacuated from their homes, though the situation is improving gradually.

The line was re-opened at about 6 a.m. this morning, but Harry Korslund, on-duty press officer at NSB, tells NRK trains probably won’t be able to travel faster than 20 km/h for now.



Published on Tuesday, 18th May, 2010 at 15:01 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: helgeland, mo, rana, nordland, jamtfjelltinden, mosjoen, vefsn, broennoey, skiers, accident, tragedy, nordlandsbanen, dovrebanen, .





  
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