Woman freezes to death inside Swedish castle

A 65-year-old woman froze to death after somehow being locked inside the fortress walls of an historic Swedish castle where she had attended a special New Year's Eve mass, police said Sunday.

Woman freezes to death inside Swedish castle

The woman, who had been suffering from psychological problems and was living at a home for people with special needs, had been reported missing Friday afternoon, said Ulf Karlsson, a spokesman for police in the southeastern town of Kalmar.

There was no sign of her until Sunday morning, when “one and a half days later they opened the doors to the Kalmar castle’s inner courtyard, and a janitor found the woman there,” he told AFP.

The woman, who had spent two nights out in below freezing temperatures, “was showing slight signs of life when she was found, but her body temperature was much too low, and she died,” Karlsson added.

Following the discovery, police had spoken with staff who said they had seen the woman attend a special New Year’s Eve mass at the castle, which was first built in the 12th century but owes its Renaissance style to a 16th century makeover.

“They had seen her alive at 4.45pm and had asked her to leave before locking up, but somehow this woman stayed behind,” Karlsson said.

He said there had been a way for her to get out, passing through the restrooms to an unlocked door on the other side, “but I guess she didn’t find it.”

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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.