Cancels search operation in Tamokdalen

Avalanche Package TamokdalenAvalanche Package. essentials to maximize the possibility to survive an avalanche. Photo: braasport.no

Cancels search operation in Tamokdalen

Search crews had to interrupt the attempt to fly into the avalanche area in the Tamok Valley in Troms in order to locate findings after the four hikers who are missing. This due to continued bad weather.

This the Operations Manager in the Troms Police District, Reinert Johansen, tells NTB.

“We make the attempt with assistance from a helicopter from the Norwegian Defense Forces and are therefore completely dependent on flight conditions over time – in order to be able to so. The helicopter made an attempt and was airborne, but could deploy the crew on the ground in the avalanche area, because the weather was too bad,” he informs.

On Saturday, the police stated that no new assessment would be made as to whether the search for the missing persons will resume before   Monday at the earliest, as searches are dependent on improved weather conditions over a longer period of time.

Sunday morning the police reported that they would make an attempt to fly up to the avalanche at Blåbærfjellet in Tamokdalen, with assistance from the 339 helicopter rescue squadron, while there is still daylight. Weather challenges meant that the search operation had to be aborted.

“The weather challenges were so big that it turned out to be too demanding to deploy crews in the area. That is why we had to cancel,” the Operations manager tells the newspaper Nordlys.

Johansen relays to NTB that another assessment will be made on Monday morning.

Possessed avalanche seekers

Poor weather also put a stop to the search crews and volunteers who searched for the top tour group who are missing and thought to have perished in Wednesday’s avalanche. An attempt was made to bring avalanche dogs and crews into the area. Three teams from the Norwegian Rescue Dogs were standby at a helicopter for a long time but were not allowed to board.

The four missing skiers from Finland and Sweden, all of which in their thirties, brought with them avalanche seekers. On Friday the police informed that signals from two of those were picked up.

Not possible to survive

Chief Physician at the University Hospital in Northern Norway, Mads Gilbert, announced on Friday that there are no rational reasons to believe that any of the four skiers are alive.

“Rescue personnel do not get there in time,” Gilbert states, adding that with such a large and heavy avalanche as this, it is not possible to survive being buried in the snow masses for several days.

On Friday the police assumed that the signals from the avalanche seekers would last up to another 100 hours.

According to the police, several relatives arrived on site on Friday evening.

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