Tag Archives: Nikoline Røkenes

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 12, 2019

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Man arrives without job or place to stay, is expelled by governor the same day
A man who arrived in Svalbard without a return flight ticket, money, job or place to stay was expelled from the archipelago the same day by The Governor of Svalbard. The man did not succeed in obtaining funds from others to stay or for a return trip, and attempts to contact the consulate for the country where the man is a citizen was unsuccessful, Lt. Gov. Berit Sagfossen wrote in the expulsion decision. She said such incidents are rare, happening twice a year during the past two years, and sometimes it is due to tips the governor receives and other times the person reports the situation themselves.

CANDLES DEFYING THE STORM: ‘Slowly we have taken back everyday life’ three years after a deadly and fateful avalanche hits Longyearbyen

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There’s a vast dark gap between other homes lit with Christmas lights, and beneath it candles flickering in a snowbank in defiance of heavy rain and wind. Aside from the elements there’s mostly an erie quiet since the water-and-ice surface makes movement treacherous, but at intervals people pause to reflect, place their own candle and exchange memories with others who shared one of Longyearbyen’s most tragic moments three years ago.

‘Never got information about the danger’: Parents of 2-year-old girl killed in 2015 avalanche seek 4.4M kr. in lawsuit

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“Had we known about the danger of avalanches we never would have agreed to live there.”

But Pia Sivertsen says she never learned about that risk and as a result her two-year-old daughter, Nikoline Røkenes, was killed when an avalanche struck the family’s home and ten others on Dec. 9, 2015. The young girl was rescued after being buried in snow, but died a day later in a Tromsø hospital and now her parents have filed a lawsuit seeking 4.4 million kroner from officials they say were negligent about the avalanche risks they knew existed in the area.

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

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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.

Reversal of fortune: Decision not to investigate Dec. 19 avalanche as a criminal matter overturned by top prosecuter

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Update: Svalbardposten reported Friday the city of Longyearbyen is trying to reach a settlement with the parents of a two-year-old girl killed in the avalanche without admitting legal liability. Store Norske is also indicating it is willing participate in such discussions.

Original story: The avalanche last Dec. 19 that destroyed 11 homes and killed two people should be investigated as a criminal matter, a reversal according to Norway’s Director of Public Prosecutions, overturning a decision by regional prosecutors not to seek charges.

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

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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.

Random weirdness for the week of March 1, 2016

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We’ve long stated Longyearbyen residents are a bit dim in a way since, while the first sunrise after the three-and-a-half-month polar winter was Feb. 16, we don’t actually celebrate the first appearance of the sun until March 8. But here’s a real mental fuse-blower as everyone gears up for this year’s nine-day Solfestuka festival:

The final farewells: Memorial for two-year-old Nikoline Røkenes, hometown funeral for Atle Husby celebrate the light they brought into lives

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In addition to flowers, there were lots of balloons at the alter. And mourners in the overflowing church – between the tears – standing and following the priest in the singing and hand-signaling of “This Little Light of Mine.”

Invoking the memories of an innocent childhood lost, reinforced by the muted clamor from a dozen of her innocently unaware and restless peers at the far rear of the church, provided both relief from and a reminder of the crushing blow dealt to Longyearbyen – as much emotional as physical – by the Dec. 19 avalanche that killed two-year-old Nikoline Røkenes.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Students return to school, participate in memorial for avalanche victims; public memorial for Nikoline Røkenes, 2, on Saturday

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Students returning to Longyearbyen School for the first time since avalanche Dec. 19 that killed Atle Husby, 42, a teacher at the school, and Nikoline Røkenes, 2, gathered with teachers Tuesday morning to pay tribute to the victims and discuss the tragedy.

“In commemoration, we will light candles for our teacher and colleague, Atle, and a light for two-year-old Nikoline who went to nursery school next to the school,” Longyearbyen School Headmaster Anne Vikanes wrote in a message posted at the city’s website Monday.

A public memorial service for Nikoline, as a well as a commemoration for her sister, Pernille, 3, who survived after they were buried in their father’s home for two hours, is scheduled at noon Saturday at Svalbard Church.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Silent memorial for Atle Husby and Nikoline Røkenes at 9 p.m. Christmas Eve at Vei 230

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An informal silent memorial for Atle Husby and Nikoline Røkenes, who were killed in Saturday’s avalanche, is planned at 9 p.m. Christmas Eve at the barrier on Vei 230 where access is still restricted.

“Feeling like a strong need to think about and remember Nikoline and Atle,” Heidi Jorunn Brun wrote in a post on a Longyearbyen community Facebook page that has received more than 200 “likes” since the evening of Dec. 23.