US snakebite lands Norwegian student with massive bill

A 23-year-old Norwegian student got a dual shock in the United States recently when he was first bitten by a rattlesnake, then hit by an astronomical hospital bill.

US snakebite lands Norwegian student with massive bill
Photo: Danleo (File)

Dag-Are Trydal’s venomous encounter took place as he made his way to his car at a parking lot in San Diego, newspaper VG reports.

“I literally jumped out of both my flip-flops between two cars. A rattlesnake had crept up behind me and bitten me in the foot,” said Trydal.

If the snakebite hurt, more pain was soon to follow in the form of a hospital bill amounting to $143,000 (861,000 kroner).

“It seemed insanely high. I didn’t understand how it could be so expensive. Fortunately, I have student insurance,” said the 23-year-old, an exchange student from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

It now falls to travel insurance firm Europeiske Reiseforsikring to foot the sky-high bill.

“I’ve worked for Europeiske Reiseforsikring for 25 years and have never come across anything like it,” said spokeswoman Emma Elisabeth Vennesland.

“We didn’t think it was possible when we saw the amount and had to double check with our US office twice. This is an all-time high for us.”

She confirmed that falling ill in the US can be a costly business.

“Just a simple doctor’s visit, to check if you have influenza for instance, can cost up to 15,000 kroner,” she said. 

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Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.