Random weirdness for the week of Nov. 5, 2017

Random weirdness for the week of Nov. 5, 2017

We’re launching an all “#fakenews” roundup this week with what we’ll call The Frightmare Before Christmas. Lot of charming drone footage of Barentsburg, interspaced with lots of animated maps and a narrating hypothesizing More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 5, 2017

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Dec. 5, 2017

Turbine at power plant shut down due to possible damage One of the two turbines at Longyearbyen’s power plant has been disabled due to measurements that indicate it may have sustained damage, More »

ROAST BEAST: The Grinch tried his tyranny in Longyearbyen this year. It didn’t go well. (UPDATE: Just wow…it really was sabotage)

ROAST BEAST: The Grinch tried his tyranny in Longyearbyen this year. It didn’t go well. (UPDATE: Just wow…it really was sabotage)

Skipping past his tiny heart and large theft, including sabotaging the town’s Christmas tree (FOR REAL, it turns out – see update at end)… Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise! More »

Report: Russian helicopter crew didn’t report problems before crash, passengers likely evacuated aircraft before it sank

Report: Russian helicopter crew didn’t report problems before crash, passengers likely evacuated aircraft before it sank

The crew of a Russian helicopter that crashed near Barentsburg aren’t heard discussing any problems beforehand on the cockpit’s voice recorder, but the eight occupants aboard who perished apparently escaped the aircraft without More »

Higher price of failure: Shutdown of Store Norske mines will cost far more, take longer than thought, minister says

Higher price of failure: Shutdown of Store Norske mines will cost far more, take longer than thought, minister says

It turns out shutting down and dismantling the Svea and Lunckefjell is going to cost a lot more than expected. With Parliament scheduled to debate the issue Thursday, at what point does the More »

 

Two lawsuits challenging Norway’s control of Arctic resources may have drastic – and drastically different – impacts

oillawsuits

Make Norway share its oil and other natural resources in the vicinity of Svalbard, or prevent drilling altogether?

Two lawsuits now before the court are challenging Norway’s authority in far north on the same basic issue, but with drastically different goals. One by the European Union is seeking equal access to resources for all countries that have signed the Svalbard Treaty, while two environmental organizations are suing Norway’s government for allowing drilling in new areas of the Arctic.

‘No criminal offense considered proven’ in deadly 2015 avalanche, prosecutors rule; parents of girl killed says findings boosts civil case

homecrushed

No criminal charges are warranted for the actions by Svalbard’s governor, Longyearbyen city officials and others related to a 2015 avalanche that destroyed 11 homes and killed two people, the Norwegian Bureau for the Investigation of Police Affairs announced Wednesday.

But an attorney for the parents of one of the people killed said the bureau’s findings nonetheless bolster a civil case accusing officials of negligence by failing to recognize the threat to the homes and evacuate the area.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Large-scale search ending Thursday; bad weather reportedly caused helicopter to suffer icing and electrical failure

searchmap

A large-scale search for the seven bodies missing after a helicopter crashed into the sea near Barentsburg is scheduled to end Thursday, two weeks after the crash occurred, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The decision means officials are also giving up hope of finding the memory device from the flight data recorder, but an investigator told a Russian newspaper the crash was “provoked” by poor weather that caused icing and electrical failure. 

In-the-red storm rising: Meteorological institute may eliminate staff at Hopen station, majority at Bjørnøya due to deficits

hopenclose

Eliminating five of the nine employees at the Bjørnøya Meteorological Station and automating operations at the Hopen station where four people now work is being considered by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute to help cope with a long-term deficit, according to the agency’s director.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Researchers were supposed to take boat instead of fatal flight; body found near wreckage identified

shoresearch

Three researchers killed when a helicopter crashed into the sea near Barentsburg weren’t initially supposed to be aboard the flight that took off from Pyramiden, but joined the five crew members aboard the aircraft when weather prevented a boat from reaching the abandoned Russian settlement, according to an official at the company that owned the helicopter.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: 24 lifejackets found in helicopter that crashed; diminishing daylight, conditions hampering search for passengers

rescueplan

The helicopter was found largely intact on a seabed 209 meters beneath the surface. Twenty-four unused lifejackets (out of a possible 25) were inside the aircraft, but none of the eight passengers. And so far the only clues to what happened to them is one body, a lifejacket, a shoe, bag and jacket found scattered within 130 meters of the wreckage.

Which means as large numbers of Russian and Norwegian recovery workers continue searching the waters and coastlines in the vicinity nine days after the crash near Barentsburg in diminishing daylight and weather conditions, the challenge of determining what caused the crash and what happened immediately afterward is likely to be formidable.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE (11:30 A.M. SATURDAY): Helicopter raised, search for bodies continues

heloraised

A helicopter that crashed near Barentsburg was raised from the seabed at about 2 a.m. Saturday, according to The Accident Investigation Board Norway. No bodies were found in the aircraft and recovery workers are continuing to search coastlines for the passengers.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE (7:30 P.M. FRIDAY): Raising of helicopter delayed again; ‘piloting error’ may have caused crash; legality of flight questioned

lifejacket

The raising of a helicopter that crashed into the sea last week near Barentsburg has been delayed until at least late Friday night or Saturday in order to ensure no bodies are in the immediate vicinity of the crash site, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Meanwhile, a lifejacket was found Friday about 90 meters from the wreckage, a “piloting error” was cited as the preliminary cause of the crash and questions were raised about whether the flight carrying scientific researchers was legally authorized.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: No bodies found inside helicopter, aircraft called ‘a horror example’ as 3,710 have died aboard it due to crashes

helopyramiden

Russian divers and emergency workers did not find any bodies in a Mi-8 helicopter that crashed last week with eight people aboard, but a Norwegian newspaper is reporting the helicopter model in service since 1967 is “a horror example” of aviation as 3,710 people have died in 460 crashes.

BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE: Raising of helicopter now set for Friday

shiponscene

Russian and Norwegian officials spent Thursday continuing their search of a site where a helicopter crashed a week ago and preparing to raise it Friday using a ship now on the scene, according to The Governor of Svalbard.