Four killed in holiday traffic accidents

At least four people have been killed and several others have been severely injured in Midsummer traffic accidents around the country.

On Friday night, one person died in an accident on Highway 62 in Värmland in central Sweden. One vehicle with three passengers collided with an elk. A 17-year-old passenger was thrown out of the car and died, reported Värmland police. The other two individuals in the car were in shock and taken to the hospital.

Elsewhere, an 18-year-old man was killed in an accident in Ronehamn on the island of Gotland early Saturday morning. According to Visby police, there were no witnesses. The injured man was found lying outside of the car and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Visby, where he later died, according to Sveriges Radio Gotland.

A moped driver also died in a single-vehicle accident outside of Hofors in central Sweden on Midsummer Eve. The man is believed to have lost control and was found next to the moped on the road. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Gävle, where he later died. Gävleborg police suspect that the incident might have involved alcohol.

A man in his twenties died on Friday when he drove off of a road between Frinnaryd and Sundshult, south of Tranås in south central Sweden. The cause of the accident is unknown, but according to police there is evidence that the car was speeding prior to the accident. The man was alone in the car.

On average, seven or eight individuals are killed and several hundred are injured in traffic accidents over Midsummer weekend every year. Most such accidents occur on the Thursday night preceding Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day.

Late on Thursday night, five people were injured in a crash between two cars in Leksand. All five were rushed to the hospital.

The accident occurred when a car with three passengers attempted to turn onto the highway from a side road. The driver, a 21-year-old man who was the most seriously injured, didn’t see the other car coming. There were two passengers in the second vehicle.

“One individual sustained serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The other four suffered mild injuries,” Sven Matsol of the Dalarna police told TT.

On Friday, a man was seriously injured during a single-car accident on Vargön outside Vänersborg in western Sweden. The man, who was unconscious, was taken the hospital in Uddevalla, where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries.

Another woman was run over by a car in Åmål was taken to Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg by helicopter. A hospital spokesperson has described her injuries as life-threatening.

The cause of the accident is unknown. A man and a woman were walking on the sidewalk when the driver lost control of the vehicle and ran them over. The man also sustained injuries.

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Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.