The unusually heavy snowfall that covered most of southeastern Norway this week almost cost the life of a nine-year-old girl. She was out playing in the snowdrifts along the street where she lived when a large snowplow rumbled by, trapping her in a snow cave she’d dug earlier.
Her mother told local newspaper Varden in Skien, Telemark County, that she’d heard the snowplow drive by. When she went out just a few minutes later, and couldn’t see the girl, she realized her daughter must be caught under the snow.
She started frantically digging in the area where she thought the snow cave might be, and also called neighbours for help. “They were fantastic and helped dig our way in to the entry to the snow cave down in the ditch,” the mother, who requested anonymity, told Varden.
They could soon hear the girl crying from under all the snow, and spotted part of her jacket, and an ambulance was called. The little girl was found after around 20 minutes, uninjured but very frightened, and she and her mother opted to be taken to a local emergency clinic for a check.
“It must have been very traumatic for both the girl and her family,” Finn Jenssen, technical chief for the City of Skien, told state broadcaster NRK. The mother hasn’t blamed the driver of the plow or local officials for the accident, though: “The driver couldn’t have seen anyone down in the snow cave.” Officials had never heard of such an accident before and didn’t think the snowplow driver was even aware of what had happened. “The vehicles are large and noisy,” Jenssen said, “and it’s not easy for the driver to see what’s happening behind him, or off to the sides.”