Truck sparks chaos in downtown Oslo

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A large truck equipped with a crane accidentally tore down live overhead electrical lines powering Oslo’s tram system on Friday, bringing the trams to a halt and forcing police to cordon off entire areas of downtown.

The accident occurred just after the morning rush but caused traffic disruption all day long, as emergency crews tried to clear streets, repair the damage and get the trams running again.

All lines were affected, and there was still no thru-traffic downtown by late afternoon. The accident caused “a chain reaction from Stortorvet (the main square in front of the Oslo Cathedral) to Tinghuset (the local court house, several blocks away),” Therese Reitan of the Oslo Police District told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

All traffic through the busiest part of town was blocked, also for private vehicles, not least because of safety issues. No one was injured, but torn electrical cables sizzling and smoking in the streets presented a hazard. At least one traffic signal also stopped functioning.

Power was cut to tram tracks in both directions, said the system’s service chief, Ellen Frøne. Repairs by Oslotrikken crews were taking at least seven to eight hours.

Views and News staff