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SNOW

Five hikers die in Norway avalanche

Five people died, four Swiss and one French, after an avalanche hit an expedition on a mountain in northern Norway on Monday, Norwegian authorities said.

Five hikers die in Norway avalanche
Photo: Ola Solvang/Scanpix

One member of the group made up of five Swiss nationals and one French guide was dug out of the snow alive and hospitalised in an unclear condition, according to authorities.

According to police, the avalanche occurred early on Monday afternoon at an altitude of about 1,000 metres on the Sorbmegaisa mountain in the Kåfjord municipality, and swept away half of a 12-member expedition in the area who were probably travelling on skis.

The expedition had split into two six-person groups each made up of five Swiss nationals and one French guide.

Police said all of the 12 had been wearing radio transmitters, which helped the search.

"The guide in the group that was not hit by the avalanche made sure the others in his group were in safety and then went back to the site of the avalanche to take part in the search," Antoine Gosset, the first secretary at the French embassy in Oslo, told AFP.

Rescuers found the body of the fifth victim under several metres of snow several hours after the avalanche swept down the mountain.

"I can now confirm that five people have been found dead," Astrid Nilsen of the police in the northern town of Tromsø told AFP on Monday evening.

"The search is over and we are now going to work on identifying the victims," she added.

The Swiss embassy in Oslo was not able to provide any information on the matter.

Avalanches are common in Norway at this time of year as blocks of snow and ice begin crumbling under the first rays of spring sun.


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WEATHER

Norway hit by early snowfall as up to 20 traffic accidents reported

The first snow of the year in parts of southern and eastern Norway on Monday night and early Tuesday resulted in up to 20 traffic accidents in the region, according to police.

Norway hit by early snowfall as up to 20 traffic accidents reported
Illustration photo: Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Police in Norway’s East District warned motorists not to drive without winter tyres due to the hazardous conditions.

In a tweet, police wrote that “several reports” had been received of accidents, particularly in the Romerike north east of Oslo.

As many as 20 accidents had been reported by 9:30 on Tuesday morning, police operation leader Atle Vesttorp told news wire NTB.

A number of these accidents involved cars sliding into central reservations, emergency lanes and lamp posts.

“In Romerike especially there is snow, and that’s where we’ve had the majority of accidents this morning,” Vesttorp said.

No serious injuries have been reported as a result of the road conditions.

But police encouraged drivers yet to change from summer to winter tyres to make the shift or, alternatively, leave their cars at home today.

It is mandatory for tyres with a tread depth of 3mm be used in Norway between November 1st and the Sunday after Easter Monday.

It is also the car owner's responsibility to make sure winter tyres are on the vehicle before winter conditions threaten a driver's safety.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about driving in Norway

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