Man dies after falling through ice

A 72-year-old man who fell through the ice on a lake south of Stockholm on Monday morning has died in hospital, in the latest in a spate of similar accidents on Sweden's lakes. His friend, who is in his sixties, is believed missing, thought also to have fallen through the ice.

The man was found by a passer-by after he fell the Södra Hjälmaren lake near Katrineholm while fishing. Emergency services helped him out of the freezing water, but he was suffering from severe hypothermia from which he did not recover.

Police are searching the area with dogs, in case the dead man’s friend managed to make it onto land.

The area of the lake where the man disappeared is several hundred metres wide, police say. They add that strong currents in the area mean that the man could have been swept from the spot where he fell into the water.

Police said they will keep searching for the missing man at least until sunset. They also said that it was “not properly confirmed” that the second man had even gone on the ice in the first place. Thomas Ginghagen of Örebro police said he was trying to investigate whether the other man could have decided not stay at home.

The weekend saw a number of similar incidents on Sweden’s lakes, where ice is melting earlier than usual due to the early arrival of spring.