Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 30, 2016


Remembering the crash on Operafjellet 20 years ago
The weather matched the mood as fog and wind engulfed Operafjellet on Monday as about 15 Norwegians and Russians gathered for a memorial stemming from one of Norway’s worst tragedies. “Today it is exactly 20 years ago a Russian airliner crashed on Operafjellet,” said Russian Consul General Vjatsjeslav Nikolajev. “On board the plane were shift workers from Trust Artikugol, many on their way back from vacation and full of the joy about going to families and friends again, but fate decided otherwise. In an instant, the lives of all 141 were swept away.” He laid a wreath at the crash site and Svalbard Governor Kjerstin Askholt noted everyone living in Svalbard suffered from the tragedy. “It is my fervent wish that such a thing will never happen again,” she said. The  Tupolev 154 crashed at 10:22 a.m. Aug. 29, 1996, during its approach to Svalbard Airport. The accident was attributed to a series of small navigational errors that resulted in the plane to be nearly four kilometers off-course from its intended line of approach. Norwegian rescuers who reached the crash site about two hours later quickly determined there were no survivors. It remains the deadliest plane crash in Norway’s history.

Parents of avalanche victim seek damages for negligence
The parents of a two-year-old girl killed in the avalanche last Dec. 19 are taking legal action against Store Norske and Longyearbyen’s municipal government, accusing both of gross negligence. Kim Rune Rokenes and Pia Sivertsen. the parents of  Nikoline Rokenes, say the city received several reports dating from 1992 warning about the avalanche risk in the housing area where the slide hit. They also assert Store Norske is liable as the owner of the property.

2 Responses to Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 30, 2016

  1. Joanna Animucka says:

    The Tupolev 154 crashed at 10:22 a.m. Aug. 29, 2006, ???
    it was 20 years ago, so rather in 1996…
    RIP for all persons that died that day.

  2. (Smacks self on forehead very hard)

    Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed.

    If you’re an interested in an outstanding article Svalbardposten did about the 20-year anniversary of the crash, this is a feature that was translated into English (they’re the only major paper in Norway doing that to lure outside readers…plus it makes sense, given the population here). You’ll need a 30 kr. daypass if you’re not a subscriber but, even if they’re the “other” paper, I highly recommend buying one when you’ve got a few hours (or a one-month pass for 110 kr. if you don’t want to binge read) because they’ve written a lot of great stuff that’s been translated in recent years. I’m amazed how, even though this is a tiny and confined town, we seem to constantly be writing about different things every week. Which, of course, I think works out pretty well for all of us.

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