Gabriel, 13, died after Stockholm tunnel tour

The teenage boy found dead at the bottom of a ventilation shaft by Slussen in central Stockholm on Thursday paid 200 kronor ($28) for a clandestine "tunnel tour" and it is now suspected that he was abandoned by his guide, according to a report in the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“I just hope that the police get a hold of him. This boy seems to have this as a business idea,” said Gabriel Erlandsson’s mother Ulrika, to the newspaper.

The boy, who like all school children in Stockholm was enjoying a week off for half-term, left the family home in northern Stockholm on Wednesday to head into the city.

Gabriel had received 200 kronor from his mother, saying that he was heading to Slussen to play Laserdome, the newspaper reports.

But the teenager is thought to have handed over the money to another boy, named only as “Jean” by Aftonbladet, who was known to offer unauthorised tours of the myriad network of tunnels and shafts under the Stockholm traffic junction of Slussen.

When Gabriel did not return home on Wednesday evening the family became concerned and called the police. Thirty-six hours after leaving the family’s Vallentuna home the boy was found by police climbers lifeless at the bottom of the 30 metre deep ventilation shaft.

The newspaper writes that the family has now begun to suspect that Gabriel was interested in a sub-culture known as “Urban Exploring”, which attracts thousands of Swedes to places off limits to the general public – such as tunnels, disused factories and abandoned houses.

The place where Gabriel was found is reported to have been given the name “Tariq’s Temple” after the film director and graffiti artist Tariq Saleh.

“When you are young you think that you are invincible but I just want to underline, do not go down into the metro system. It is not worth risking your life for,” the director said to the newspaper after hearing of the teenager’s tragic death.

Police climbers found Gabriel’s body at around 10pm on Wednesday. They also found an abandoned rucksack which is suspected to belong to his guide, the newspaper reports.


Hundreds of 17th century cannonballs unearthed in Stockholm

Archaeologists digging in Stockholm's Slussen area have stumbled on a unique find that has left them scratching their heads: hundreds of cannonballs from the 17th century. But who left them there and why?

Hundreds of 17th century cannonballs unearthed in Stockholm
The area where the cannonballs were found. Photo: Arkeologikonsult

A proposal to redevelop Stockholm's Slussen junction was approved in 2013, and since then archaeologists have been excavating the area as the construction work continues. It is the largest such excavation in Sweden and tells the story of a time when the area was the hub of Stockholm's iron trade.

Last month they uncovered more than 200 cannonballs in what used to be a moat.

“This is a unique find. I don't know, off the top of my head, of any other place in Sweden where so many cannonballs have been found in one place and there has definitely not been a similar find in Stockholm before,” Michel Carlsson, archaeologist at Arkeologikonsult, told The Local on Tuesday.

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Some of the cannonballs found in November. Photo: Arkeologikonsult

They believe the cannonballs were dumped on the site intentionally, either during the demilitarization of Slussen's fortifications in the early 17th century (when the military defences moved as the city grew) or when the city's facilities for weighing iron were moved to the site from the Old Town in the 1660s.

“One question we are considering and have not yet found the answer to is why the cannonballs were not saved – if nothing else than for the sake of the metal value,” said Carlsson.

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More than 200 cannonballs have so far been found. Photo: Arkeologikonsult

The cannonballs that have so far been found vary in size and originally weighed around 0.85 to 8.5 kilo. Grenades, hand grenades and parts of at least seven cannon were also found on the site in November.

In the 1640s Sweden exported around 11,000 tonnes of wrought iron annually, increasing to 40,000 tonnes in the 1740s. Other finds last month include shards of German ceramics from the 14th century, remains of a well-known arch bridge built in the mid 18th-century and more wrought iron objects. 

One of the cannons found on the site. Photo: Arkeologikonsult

Exciting finds in central Stockholm are nothing new. During previous digging work at Slussen archaeologists have found a 16th century kitchen complete with tobacco pipes, coins, Viking era pearls, and much more. 

Construction work at Slussen is expected to be finished in 2025. The existing junction was built in 1935, but there have been various locks on the site since the 1600s, raising and lowering the water level to help transport boats between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The word sluss means 'lock' in Swedish.

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Remains of an arch bridge that used to run east of the locks in the mid-18th century. Photo: Arkeologikonsult