Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 1, 2016


Woman charged with arson at Vei 222 faces years in prison
A woman in her 20s faces a minimum of two years in prison for arson in a row house, according to prosecutors who state the incident easily could have been resulted in multiple deaths. A fire alarm sounded at Vei 222 at 11:15 p.m. last March 20, hours after the total solar eclipse, when the woman poured gasoline on a mattress in a storage closet and ignited it. A resident in the building quickly discovered the blaze and, after trying to extinguish it, initiated an evacuation of the building. Firefighters put out the fire, and the woman was arrested shortly afterward and admitted to igniting the mattress. She was exiled the mainland and declared mentally fit for trial by examiners. Although she has admitted to the act, she is not admitting to committing arson, according to Gunhild Lærum, the woman’s attorney.

Trio of snowmobilers fall through ice on east coast
Three snowmobilers in a tour group were rescued by helicopter after they fell through the sea ice at Mohnbukta on the east coast of Svalbard, according to The Governor of Svalbard. The tourism company did an assessment of the ice the day before, but cracks appeared overnight which – while visible from the air –were difficult to see on the ground, said Police Chief Lt. Irene Welle. Other members of the eight-member group pulled the trio from the water and, while not suffering severe impairments, they were transported to Longyearbyen Hospital for treatment.

LNSS finishes demolition of 11 homes hit by avalanche
The 11 homes destroyed by the Dec. 19 avalanche have been fully demolished by LNS Spitsbergen. The company spent about three weeks tearing down the houses and bringing the debris to Hotellneset, where it was crushed and is being stored at a special site with wire mesh netting to prevent it from scattering. Items such as appliances, as well as windows and other glass, were removed before the homes were demolished. The debris will be further sorted when it is brought to the mainland.
waiting to be shipped down to the mainland. All of white and brown goods are taken out and eletrical equipment is sorted. In addition, all windows and glass surfaces taken out of the buildings before the machine with klypa relax to. LNSS spent about two days in each of the buildings, and ahead residents have been involved in and retrieved equipment and assets. There is still material in the area, which will be cleaned ready for summer, when the snow disappears.