Tragedy struck the scenic northern coastal community of Steigen during the weekend, after four people were killed and two were seriously injured in a collision in a tunnel between a car and a tractor. Those injured were rushed by air ambulance to hospital in Bodø.
Police in the northern county of Nordland reported that a tractor pulling a trailer was hit from behind by a foreign-registered car carrying five people. Four of those in the car, all identified as tourists from the Czech Republic, were pronounced dead at the scene, while another was critically injured.
The accident occurred in the middle of the eight-kilometer-long Steigen Tunnel. It had to be closed during the rescue operation.
The four killed were among a group of regular Czech visitors who go fishing at Steigen and have for many years rented accommodation in Straumfjorden run by local resident Ove Strand. He told state broadcaster NRK on Monday that five of them were driving to Bodø to fly home when the accident occurred. “I spoke with them all for around a half-hour before they left and they were all in very good humour,” Strand said.
An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, involving police, the state highway department (Staten vegvesen) and the state accident investigations board (Statens havaricommisjon). Police were also contacting next of kin while members of the tour group were offered crisis help from the local community, which they declined. “I spoke with them yesterday and will speak with them again today,” Strand told NRK. “Right now it’s all about helping them with practical details and information.”