Nigardsbreen, Norway, danger, glacier, visit, tourism, death, ice, meltwater, melt, climate change, travel
Nigardsbreen / Visit Norway

Tourists ignore dangerous Nordic glaciers

An Austrian man is killed in Norway and another tourist is seriously injured after ice falls off a glacier.

A group of tourists were thrown off their feet when a large block of ice fell off the Nigardsbreen glacier in the mountains between Bergen and Trondheim.

The group of more than ten people had ignored warning signs placed around the glacier and crossed the safety barrier to get closer to the glacier.

A block of ice then calved off suddenly, causing a shower of water and ice that threw him and two others into the fast-flowing meltwater, The Local reports.

Two of them managed to scramble back to the rocks, but the Austrian was left in the freezing water as a rescue team arrived. When they failed to reach him they called for a helicopter.

“The team […] did not have any equipment, and it is very cold in the water,” Helge Blindheim of the Vest Police District told state broadcaster NRK. “The glacier had just calved and it was too dangerous to go there.”

When the helicopter finally arrived on the scene and reached the man’s body he was confirmed dead. Another from of the group was hospitalised with head injuries after being hit by ice.

Not surprised
Anne Rudsengen of the Norwegian Conservation Authority says she is not surprised by the accident. Visitors have had lucky escapes in similar incidents this summer at this and other fast-receding glaciers.

“There are a lot of people who come here, and more who do not respect the barriers and so end up putting themselves at risk.”

Related stories

Norway’s glaciers continue to recede

German tourists die on Nordic glacier

Many Scandinavian glaciers “gone in 20 years”