A 22-year-old man from Lavangen in Northern Norway was found dead on Friday, buried under mounds of snow that crashed down a mountainside near Bjørnfjell, east of Narvik. He’d been missing since the avalanche was reported on Thursday afternoon.
News bureau NTB reported that Ailo Anund Jonsson Eira, believed to have been working with reindeer herds in the area, had been driving a snowmobile near the border to Sweden when the snow thundered down on him. The weather in the area was extremely poor, hindering the search and rescue operation that was launched.
Emergency crews localized the area of the avalanche, but it was difficult for the rescue helicopters, which included an ambulance helicopter from Tromsø and a Sea King helicopter from Bodø, to reach the site. Both had to remain in Narvik Thursday evening until the weather improved.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that two other men were with the deceased but they made it to the customs station at Bjørnfjell. One of them, reportedly a relative, alerted police of the avalanche.
Search crews with dogs were sent to the area and Eira’s body was found early Friday afternoon. “We are all terribly sad over what has struck his family and the community,” local mayor Erling Bratsberg told NRK. “We have had folks from our crisis team with his family since last night.” The local community center also opened to offer assistance to relatives and friends.