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Home* News and Stories → Tem­pel­fjord acci­dent 2017: mone­ta­ry penal­ty

Tem­pel­fjord acci­dent 2017: mone­ta­ry penal­ty

In late April 2017, a serious acci­dent hap­pen­ed in Tem­pel­fjord when a group of snow mobi­le tou­rists bro­ke through thin ice. Altog­e­ther 7 per­sons suf­fe­red inju­ries, 6 of them were in the water. 4 of the­se spent up to 48 minu­tes in the ice-cold water. One of them died some days later in the hos­pi­tal in Trom­sø.

The decea­sed was working as a gui­de for the group, who were Rus­si­an tou­rists. The tour was orga­nis­ed by Arc­tic Tra­vel Com­pa­ny Grumant, a daugh­ter com­pa­ny of the Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol. The Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol owns and runs Bar­ents­burg and the coal mine the­re. As employ­er of the gui­de and owner of the tour ope­ra­tor, the Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol is legal­ly final­ly respon­si­ble.

Some years ago, the Trust star­ted to deve­lop tou­rism in Bar­ents­burg to add new eco­no­mi­c­al acti­vi­ties to coal mining, which will obvious­ly not last fore­ver.

In con­nec­tion to the Tem­pel­fjord acci­dent in 2017, the Arc­tic Tra­vel Com­pa­ny Grumant and hence the Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol are accu­sed of not having estab­lis­hed suf­fi­ci­ent safe­ty rou­ti­nes for tra­vel­ling on sea ice inclu­ding fjord ice. No ice thic­kness mea­su­re­ments or other means of estab­li­shing suf­fi­ci­ent safe­ty mar­gins were taken befo­re the group went out on the ice on the fatal trip in 2017.

Due to the fatal out­co­me of the acci­dent, which cau­sed 7 per­sons to end up in ice water and one of them to die later, the sta­te advo­ca­te Troms (north Nor­way) has now impo­sed a fine of NOK 150,000 (cur­r­ent­ly ca. Euro 15,300 or US-$ 17,700). The Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol has accep­ted the fine.

Tempelfjord accident 2017: monetary fine

Gla­cier­front of Tuna­b­reen in Tem­pel­fjord: a popu­lar day trip, but the ice can be dan­ge­rous.

The gla­cier front of Tuna­b­reen in Tem­pel­fjord is the high­light of a popu­lar day trip in the late win­ter, but the fjord ice is not as reli­able any­mo­re as it used to be and the clas­si­cal rou­te does not always work any­mo­re. In 2018, the ice con­di­ti­ons were good in Tem­pel­fjord, but in the main sea­son the fjord ice was clo­sed by the Sys­sel­man­nen for moto­ri­sed traf­fic to avoid dis­tur­ban­ce of seals and polar bears who were often seen in that area then.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2019-01-11 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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