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Aborts search attempts for hikers in Troms

Norwegian Red Cross mountains avalancheThe Red Cross in the mountains in Buskerud County, Norway.Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

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Aborts search attempts for top tourists in Troms

Attempts at helicopter search in the avalanche area of the Tamok Valley in Troms were interrupted late Thursday evening. Four people are still missing in the area.

 

“On Thursday evening, helicopters investigated whether the weather allowed for search with transmitter/receiver equipment,” according to the police. Shortly after, both the Norwegian Defence Bell helicopter and an ambulance helicopter interrupted search attempts due to bad weather, according to VG.

The avalanche danger is still too great for ground crews to be able to search for the four top tour tourists that are missing in the area. Helicopter searches in the area have not been possible during the day.

It has previously been made ready for searches with equipment that can detect mobile phone signals. On Thursday night there is no longer any such signals in the area.

According to TV 2, approximately ten relatives of the missing persons from Finland and Sweden were supposed to arrive at the site to meet with the rescue leadership.

Search crews standby

In the Tamokdalen, police, search and dog teams were at the ready, but the weather and general ground conditions were too bad for it to be possible to conduct a ground search on Thursday afternoon.

“We have a task to complete, and we have not yet done so. It is frustrating to have to sit here twiddling our thumbs. But we cannot compromise on the safety of our crews,” Vegard Lindbæk in Norwegian People’s Aid tells NTB.

his colleague Kenneth Brattli Molund and himself spent much of the Thursday waiting in a car at the base that is established at Olsrud Farm, a short distance from the mountain where the avalanche struck on Wednesday.

The police in Troms reports that the action is defined as a rescue operation – with the hope of locating survivors. It was, however, emphasised at a press brief that the possibilities of finding survivors are getting less every minute – if they are buried in the avalanche.

Impatient rescue dog

The rescue dog, Nico, and his handler, Kent Pedersen, are among those who are on standby at Olsrud farm in Tamokdalen, ready to be deployed into the search. The dog is clearly impatient.

“He understands that when he puts on his “uniform”, there is something going on. So he is set,” states Pedersen on behalf of the dog.

“It’s not the weather that’s the problem, as I see it. We train in worse weather than this. The avalanche danger is the challenge now,” the dog handler continues.

Guests in Lyngen

The missing hikers are a Swedish woman and three Finnish men who were on a top trip to Blåbærfjellet. The four were last observed around 2 pm on Wednesday. After a few hours, a fifth person of the tour group became worried and notified the police.

It has been observed ski tracks that enter into an avalanche, but no tracks are coming out on the other side.

“The four who are missing, as well as the fifth person, stays at the Magic Mountain Lodge at Lyngseidet,” writes Nordlys. General manager at the lodge, Henrika Lønngren, emphasises that the trip to the TamokValley was not organised by them.

“Now we try in the best possible way to look after the other guests. We are all in mourning. Out of respect to the guests and the relatives, I do not wish to say anything else about this tragic event,” Lønngren concludes.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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