No search for missing skiers in Troms this weekend

TamokdalenTamokdalen .Blåbærfjellet. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

The search for the four missing, presumed dead skiers in the Tamok Valley in Troms has ended for the day, and due to weather, it will not continue before Monday.

“It is decided that we will end the search for the evening.

It is based on an assessment that the weather conditions are very changeable” said head of department, John-Kåre Granheim to NTB news.

“We must have a guarantee that the people we put into the avalanche area should also be able to be taken out safely. We do not have that guarantee, and therefore we will not take the chance to put people there now” he continued.

The Troms police district announced on Friday afternoon that the weather forecasts over the next few days will mean not resuming work this weekend either.

Supposedly killed

The status of the action in the Tamok Valley was earlier on Friday changed from a rescue operation to a search for supposed fatalities. The reason is that signals have been recorded from two different avalanche seekers in the area where a large avalanche had happened.

On Friday afternoon, attempts were made to fly avalanche dogs and crews into the area. Three Norwegian Rescue Dogs stood at a helicopter site for a long time, but did not get into the area.

NVE’s landslide assessment is that traffic must be limited to existing avalanche sites. The only possibility for carrying crew in and out is helicopter, and the effort in the avalanche area is therefore dependent on the flight conditions.

The allegedly dead skiers are a Swedish woman and three Finnish men, all in their 30s.

Little reason to believe they have survived

Clinical consultant, Mads Gilbert, at the University Hospital in Northern Norway, stated that there are no rational reasons to suppose that any of the four skiers had survived.

“We know a lot about the chance of survival in avalanches.

There is no evidence that anyone has survived for two days in this type of landscape. It’s no longer meaningful to look” Gilbert said at a press conference earlier on Friday.

He added that it would probably not have been possible for rescue personnel to save any of the four. Gilbert said that people who are caught by the avalanche far from people must rely on saving themselves or their friends if
they are to survive.

“Rescuers do not come quickly enough” Gilbert said.

100 hours

“A breed like this is so big and heavy that it is not possible to survive in the snow mass for two days. The survival curve for such an avalanche shows that it is minutes from when
you are completely buried until you are dead” said the chief.

The police assume that the signals from the avalanche searchers inside the area will last for up to 100 hours.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today