Sunday, July 20, 2014

Norway: Russian Tourist in Her Fifties Falls 475 Feet to Her Death at Vøringsfossen Waterfall

The Russian tourist fell around 145 meters (475.8 feet) into Vøringsfossen waterfall in Eidfjord, Hordaland. It is still unknown how she fell.

The victim lay dead in the river for several hours as rescuers endeavored to retrieve her body. The turbulent water made the operation difficult.
 
According to police, it is believed that the victim was in her fifties. 

Police spokesman Janne Steimler Setre said to newspaper VG: "It appears to have been an accidental fall. The woman was not alone at the site. She was found and her body airlifted out of the area."
It is believed witnesses saw the victim fall, but the woman was not with any group. 

COMMENT: In a world where tourist attractions are situated at great heights, foreign visitors are urged to abstain from alcohol at all times so they can be cognizant of security vulnerabilities in perilous areas. Such caution should also apply to the use of recreational drugs.

Anved Johan, mayor of Eidsfjord said to NTB: "It is very sad and tragic and my thoughts go to her family. I hope that securing the area can now begin, so that we can avoid accidents like this in future. Since last year we have put up more signs in the area. But tourists have to show care and be attentive because we will never be able to secure Norwegian nature completely."
In 2011 a 61-year-old Austrian woman fell into the waterfall and died. In 2009, a Russian bus driver died in the same area.
 
The Vøringsfossen waterfalls are part of the river Bjoreio in the region of Eidfjord. 

The falls span 182 meters (597 feet) and thousands of tourists visit the site every year to admire the spectacular view.
 
Efforts were recently made to secure the area around the waterfall with fencing and new work was set to begin later this year.
 
One recent visitor to the site, Mari Hagerup from Bærum, said to NTB: "From the parking lot at the south-west side of the waterfall, there is a cliff extending a couple of hundred meters straight down. The edge of the cliff is only a few meters from the parking lot and lies in the middle of the busiest tourist area. There is a warning sign at the edge, but there are no physical barriers. It is difficult to see where the cliff begins."
The victim's relatives have been notified and an inquest into the woman's death will follow.