Four Turks in suits air-lifted from Troll's Tongue

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Tourists queue for as long as 20 minutes to be photographed on Trolltunga. Photo: bdcoller/Flickr
22:09 CEST+02:00
Four Turkish tourists have been airlifted off Trolltunga, the spectacular rock formation which is one of Norway's leading tourist attractions, after they got stuck up there in the dark.

"It is four Turkish tourists who have been on Trolltunga, and they cannot get down by themselves. They are cold and wet. We have talked to them and they said that they are at the six-kilometer mark," Kjersti Eidsnes of local police told Norway's state broadcaster NRK at 00.40 today as operations were still ongoing. 

The tourists, who apparently got lost in the dark, were wearing suit jackets and summer shoes, and carrying hand luggage, and had no specialist hiking equipment. 

Aside from some cuts and bruises from a fall, they were unharmed from the ordeal.

"The patrol notified us at 1.16am that they had picked them up in the Sea King helicopter. They were taken to Ringedal, where they started their walk. They are probably quite cold, but none of them needed emergency medical attention," Eidsnes told NRK.

The number of tourists who attempt the 10-12 hour return hike in difficult terrain to reach Trolltunga has increased dramatically in recent years, with many people lacking skills and equipment to undertake the hike safely.  

Since earlier this month when Australian student Kristi Kafcaloudis, 24, fell to her death while making her way out onto Trolltunga to have her picture taken, concerns have been raised that tourists don't understand the potential dangers in Norwegian nature.

Visit Norway, Norway's official tourist information, removed pictures of tourists posing near the edge on Trolltunga to discourage dangerous behaviour.

"It can - as we have recently seen - be extremely dangerous. The walk up there is also pretty hard, and many tourists are not prepared for that part either," Marianne Mork of Innovation Norway told Australia's news site.
"Visit Norway have decided to remove some of its pictures featuring tourists posing on the tip of Trolltunga, in order to not inspire others to pose the same way. Our opinion is that many people underestimate the danger."

It is relatively common for for tourists to be rescued off Trolltunga, though no fatal accidents have been reported aside from Kafcaloudis.

Frode Kolltveit of the Hordaland police was unimpressed by the Turkish tourists' preparations for the hike.

"People need to think a little before they go out on hikes like this," he told local Bergensavisen newspaper.

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