Sweden's PM arrives at scene of forest fire
The Local · 7 Aug 2014, 14:48
Published: 07 Aug 2014 09:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Aug 2014 14:48 GMT+02:00
- One man facing life-threatening injuries after burn
- Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on the scene
- Italian and French water bombers on the scene
- Fire "still not under control"
- Worst fire in Sweden's modern history
- Policeman seriously injured after being run over at roadblock
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was on hand at Ramnäs, near the scene of the fire that has swept central Sweden for eight days. He said he was there to see the rescue efforts, and he also took the chance to discuss the criticism Sweden has faced over its handling of the fire.
He said that an investigation in the nineties found that Sweden did not need to buy such aircraft due to the fact that they were too expensive, needed too much expert knowledge to maintain, and that so many neighbouring nations owned similar planes and would be ready to help - just as Sweden often helps other countries in need.
Newspaper Aftonbladet also revealed on Thursday that Sweden turned down the offer of Russian water bombing planes, but Reinfeldt explained that the decision, made by the emergency team on the scene, was one of practicality and timing.
In a central Sweden hospital, a man who was burnt in the fires earlier in the week suffered a deterioration in health, with his condition reported to be life threatening. Another man died in the blaze on Tuesday morning.
Later on Thursday, a policeman sustained serious injuries when a suspected drunken man ran him over on a moped. The officer's condition is stable, but his injury was described as serious.
- Swedes critical of fire evacuation efforts
- Sweden's king visits 'tragic' forest fire scene
- Emergency crews ready for fire to spread north
- 'And we thought the fire of '59 was bad...'