One dead after avalanche smashes houses in Norwegian archipelago

COPENHAGEN -- An avalanche has smashed into houses on the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and authorities say one person has been killed and nine others injured.

See Full Article

The avalanche tumbled down about 11 a.m. Saturday from Sukkertoppen mountain, which dominates Longyearbyen, the main settlement on Svalbard.

Hospital spokesman Per-Christian Johansen says a local man is dead and nine other people have been hospitalized, including four children. He says two children and one adult are in serious condition.

The avalanche hit a day after a huge storm that the local paper said had winds up to 95 kph (60 mph) and was the worst in 30 years.

This is a breaking news development. See AP's previous story below.

An avalanche smashed into 10 houses Saturday on the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, sending eight people to the hospital and leaving several others missing, authorities said.

The avalanche tumbled down about 11 a.m. from Sukkertoppen mountain, which dominates Longyearbyen, the main settlement on Svalbard. Dozens of houses at the foot of Sukkertoppen were protectively evacuated, said Tone Hertzberg, a spokeswoman for the governor of Svalbard.

Three children were in serious condition and five adults were slightly injured by the avalanche, hospital spokeswoman Marit Einejord told The Associated Press.

Hertzberg said "it would be logical" to assume the avalanche was connected to a storm that hit the Svalbard archipelago late Friday. Local daily Svalbardposten said the storm, with winds up to 95 kph (60 mph), was the worst in 30 years.

"People have been taken to the hospital and there are still people unaccounted for. Right now we still have no overview of the situation. It will take hours, many hours, before we do," Hertzberg told the AP by telephone.

About 100 people, including emergency workers and volunteers, were helping out following the avalanche. The archipelago's hospital requested extra medical staff from the largest nearby hospital in Tromsoe, on the Norwegian mainland, and rescue teams with search dogs were on their way.

The fierce storm also ripped off a school's roof, sending it flying onto a soccer field. The airport in Longyearbyen was closed Friday but was expected to reopen later Saturday.

Svalbard, which sits more than 800 kilometres (500 miles) north of the Norwegian mainland, is known for its stunning views of snow-covered mountains, fjords and glaciers. Located midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, the archipelago has about 2,600 residents.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Homeowners ill-informed about flood compensation, poll suggests

    Canada News CBC News
    Many Canadian homeowners may be misinformed about whether they'll get federal compensation for basements flooded due to severe weather, a newly released survey suggests. The poll — commissioned last summer for Public Safety Canada — found 40 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: "The government will take care of me and my home if there's major overland flooding. Source
  • Airport screening rules revamped for transgender travellers

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal agency in charge of security at Canadian airports has changed its screening procedures to increase sensitivity and privacy for transgender travellers, but advocates worry the procedures could be problematic if staff aren't properly trained in how to carry them out. Source
  • Liberal cabinet retreat in Calgary well-timed as electoral tests loom

    Canada News CBC News
    Justin Trudeau and his ministers will gather next week for a cabinet retreat in Calgary, site of a Liberal breakthrough in the last election that will soon be put to the test in a pair of byelections. Source
  • 'He wants Americans to love him': Trump biographers on what kind of president he'll be

    World News CBC News
    When pressed for a one-word assessment of the new U.S. president, this is what two of Donald Trump's biographers came up with. "Ego," said Tim O'Brien. "Needy," said Michael D'Antonio. Both authors have spent a lot of time with the real estate mogul who now sits in the Oval Office, trying to chisel away at what D'Antonio describes as a self-created caricature to get at the man behind the public persona. Source
  • A softer side of government: How Larry the cat became a purr-fect political companion on Downing Street

    World News CBC News
    Past the heavily guarded gates of Downing Street in central London, through the famous black door at No. 10, there is a brown-and-white tabby sporting a Union Jack collar that stalks up and down the halls. Source
  • Magnitude 8 quake hits Solomon Islands

    World News Toronto Sun
    CANBERRA, Australia — A powerful magnitude 8 earthquake hit the Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands on Sunday, but no tsunami was reported hours after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for nearby islands. The quake struck at a depth of 167 kilometres (103 miles) under Papua New Guinea’s most eastern province of Bougainville, where the two South Pacific countries meet in a continuous archipelago, said Chris McKee, assistant director of Papua New Guinea Geophysical Observatory…
  • 12 bodies recovered after landslide buries hotel in China

    World News CBC News
    Authorities in China say they've recovered the bodies of 12 people killed inside a hotel overrun by a landslide. State media reported Sunday that rescuers were able to pull out everyone trapped underneath rocks and debris after the Friday night landslide in Hunan province. Source
  • Dozens killed as train derails in India

    World News Toronto Sun
    HYDERABAD, India — At least 23 people were killed and 50 others injured after a passenger train derailed in southern India, railway officials said Sunday. Seven coaches of the Hirakand Express were thrown off the tracks around midnight Saturday, some landing on a goods train that was on a parallel track, said Divisional Railway manager Chandralekha Mukherji. Source
  • At least 32 dead in India train derailment

    World News CBC News
    At least 32 people were killed and 50 others injured after a passenger train derailed in southern India, railway officials said Sunday. Seven coaches of the Hirakand Express were thrown off the tracks shortly before midnight Saturday, some landing on a goods train that was on a parallel track, said Divisional Railway manager Chandralekha Mukherji. Source
  • Trump and Trudeau look 'forward to meeting soon' after Saturday phone chat

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has congratulated U.S. President Trump on his inauguration. The Prime Minister's Office says the two men spoke by phone Saturday, but it was not immediately clear how long the conversation lasted. The PMO said in an email that Trudeau noted the depth of the Canada-U.S. Source