ROV search for missing man in Jølster

Jølster car landslideVidar Solhaug lives where the landslide occurred in Movika during the night before Wednesday. He managed to escape by car. This one was left behind, though. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

ROV search for presumed dead man in Jølster

Search by Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) for a missing man has been initiated. The man, who is in his fifties, was taken by a landslide in Jølster on Tuesday.

The search was scheduled to start at 12 noon on Thursday, but was postponed because the road was closed still.

The ROV search is now underway, Sheriff of Sunnfjord, Dag Fiske, tells Bergens Tidende  around 3 pm.

“The water is still very cloudy and many objects are taken by the landslide. The ROV is equipped to detect metal objects (a magnetometer). It also has tools for mapping the bottom conditions, with a so-called multi-jet. In short, it can search without sight,” the sheriff informs the newspaper.

The man is reported missing after a car was taken by landslide over county road 451 at Årnes in Jølster on Tuesday. Police assume that the man to be alone in the car, but say they cannot rule out anything.

Around 20 persons were involved in the search of the slide at 1 pm on Thursday. Helicopter, boat and search poles were used.

“The main priority now is to find the car and possibly the body inside it,” Fiske concludes.



The police regret the tragic outcome

The police regret the near certain tragic outcome of a road being reopened too soon in Jølster on Tuesday. Shortly after the reopening, a car was taken by a rocky landslide.

County Road 451, on the south side of Jølstravannet, was reopened after being closed for more than three hours on Tuesday. The police made the decision after receiving feedback from a geologist of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

“It was considered that the road could be reopened. This, so that persons, who live along the road between Vassenden and Skei, could leave the area by car, ” The Sunnfjord Police notify in a press release on Thursday evening.

Shortly thereafter, a car was carried away by a landslide. The driver, a man in his fifties, is still missing, presumed dead.

“The conditions developed very fast,” Sheriff Dag Fiske emphasises, adding:

“We were not able to take the needed measure to close the road again in time. The result of the road being reopened had a very tragic outcome, which is very regretable.”

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