LAST: Three French men in their 60s died. It wrote police in an updated press release Thursday evening.
Three people died after an avalanche at Beretlia in Lyngen in Troms.
All three were pronounced dead by a doctor who landed in an air ambulance, police reported.
According to the police, there must have been ten people on the tour. Knut Operations Manager Erik Thomassen confirmed to Dagbladet that the tour group was from France. The three who died were men.
According to Mayor Dan-Håvard Johnsen, the other seven people on the tour were in good physical condition.
Landslide warning service Careful reported a significant landslide hazard in the area.
Mayor Lyngen stated that rescue work was still ongoing at the site.
– Landslide has been reported. Someone was taken. Foreign tourists are involved. “We have assigned crisis staff and now see that this will be a broken entryway at Easter,” said mayor Dan-Håvard Johnsen.
Operations manager in the Troms police district, Karl Erik Thomassen, told Dagbladet they were alerted to the landslide at 2.30pm.
– We landed on the spot at 15.15. Not long after, the three people were pronounced dead on the spot.
He could not answer where the landslide was.
– We haven’t measured the landslide, but the only thing I can say is that it’s big
Thomassen further said that they currently know the nationality or have identified the deceased.
At the same time, the police said they had no-retrievable information, but they were working to verify this.
Haldor-Inge Samuelsen, who saw the landslide from his home, estimated the crack was 200 meters wide.
– Most locals consider this area safe, I’ve skied here myself. But there’s been a lot of snow in the last two days, and the terrain is relatively steep, Samuelsen told Dagbladet.
Visit Lyngenfjord’s tourism manager, Richard Paulsen, told Dagbladet that the incident affected the entire organization.
– What happened is very sad and affects all of us. Our thoughts go first and foremost to the families affected.
He went on to say that they are now doing their best to warn tourists who are there, as well as future ski travelers of the grave danger of landslides.
– There are many other nice areas here where you can walk around and there is no danger of an avalanche.
Paulsen doesn’t have an exact figure for how many tourists are in Lyngen at this time, but says travelers come from most of Europe.
– Those who have been taken are not on an organized trip with us.
“Expecting the worst”
The mayor of the Lyngen municipality, Dan Håvard Johnsen (Sp), said the municipality had assigned a crisis staff and that they were “hoping for the worst”.
– We saw that this could be a broken entrance at Easter, said the mayor.
The top hiking group goes hiking, is 1289 meters high, and is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the municipality of Lyngen.
– There must be up to a hundred people on the mountain today, said mayor Johnsen.
He said that intensive search and rescue work was still ongoing in the area.
– Three helicopters are working in the area. They receive help from the local Red Cross and anything that can be crawled and left by rescue workers available in the area. We are trying to make the best of the broken situation, said the mayor.
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