Cut off: Emergency, regular phone numbers fail at Longyearbyen Hospital during avalanche

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Both the emergency and regular phone numbers at Longyearbyen Hospital were inoperative during immediately after the avalanche a week ago Tuesday that destroyed two apartment buildings, according to High North News.

The news website reported Friday officials working for the governor as well as civilians experienced major difficulties reaching the hospital. The apparent reason is the “113” emergency number was redirected to a portable phone located on the hospital premises that lacks a network connection in parts of the building.

“We could not get hold of anyone on 113, so we attempted the regular number,” the governor’s office told High North News. “The call was then answered, but interrupted, and it appeared to be a technical error. We got in touch with the hospital through a different number and notified them of the potential error.”

The phone was redirected because the entire hospital staff attending a catastrophe course organized by the University Hospital of Northern Norway that day.

“The portable phone has for brief periods been located in a part of the building where network coverage is insufficient,” Aksel Bilicz, department manager at Longyearbyen Hospital, told the news site. “We were not aware of this. We are now making sure that all cordless phones have sufficient network coverage all the time.”

The hospital’s wirless network is scheduled to be replace this spring.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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