Well, an eventful day to say the least in the Nordic countries.
Edit: Also, two buses have caught fire in Oslo in two days.
It began with this:
Overnight, a cleaning lady in her early 20s was doing her work on a parked Saltsjöbanan commuter train in Stockholm, when she found the key to the driver’s cabin. She apparently could not resist the temptation, and the train was very easy to get moving. She carried on past two stations at high speed – as well as over two at-grade crossings where the gates were not closed – before discovering that stopping the train was a very different matter. It derailed, and eventually ended up in an apartment building. The woman was seriously injured and flown to hospital (and arrested), but as this happened in the middle of the night and the bedrooms were on the other side of the building, nobody else was injured. Some insurance company will, however, be scrambling to figure out just how to classify this.
Speaking of insurance nightmares, next up was this:
In the late morning a huge pileup emerged on a bridge outside Helsingborg in Southern Sweden. The bridge is part of the E4 highway, which is the main southwest-northeast highway in Sweden, and thus often sees heavy traffic. The speed limit is 110 km/h on this stretch of road (roughly 68 mph), however as much of Scandinavia is experiencing a severe cold snap (mornings where the temperature is negative in FAHRENHEIT are not normal in Oslo), the road was understandably quite slippery and it is expected of all drivers in Scandinavia to SLOW DOWN. To complicate the matter further, the area was quite foggy today. So at some point, one car lost control, crashed, and was promptly rammed by the car following it; which then had intimate contact with a tractor trailer coming from the rear, etc. Swedish police called it an “opposite domino effect”. With nobody able to see a darned thing, and unable to rely on the driver behind slowing down, everybody kept going at the same speed until they hit a wall of cars and trucks. One person was killed, around twenty severely injured, and roughly 100 cars and trucks wrecked in what has been called Sweden’s worst traffic accident ever. The leader of the rescue operation was, to put it mildly, furious at drivers. Just to add insult to injury, around half the trucks were carrying gravel which then spread all over the bridge. Cleanup is expected to be finished at around 8 AM CET Wednesday.
Over the afternoon the author read this:
In February of 2011, a Danish boarding school (efterskole) thought it would be a good idea to take some of their students out on a trip in a dragon boat. In practically open water. Without asking the students if they were capable of swimming. Also, the students were left to figure out if they had put their life jackets on right themselves.
Eventually, the inevitable happened, and the boat capsized. Thirteen students were left to swim in freezing cold water, several fainted, and only a few made it to shore and were able to get help. Due to some acts of heroism and probably a certain amount of luck, all students survived (one of them was pulled by another student onto an ice floe!) as well as one of the teachers. The other teacher, who apparently had gotten the idea for this trip, died while helping a fainted student survive. He was not wearing a life jacket. Some of the students had a body temperature of 16-17 C when they were rescued, and others have suffered severe life damage after being in a coma for days. Today, the court case against the principal of the school started – he is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Several of the students today gave emotional testimonies.
This wonderful parking job courtesy of one of the author’s fellow students. Not a big event, but certainly funny. Reminiscent of politician Carl I Hagen’s wife Eli, who decided to take a shortcut down the Palace stairs after dropping off her husband at a banquet in 2001.