The man was hit on the head by the icicle as he walked around the corner of Fridhemsgatan and Fleminggatan on the island of Kungsholmen, shortly after 10 am. He was knocked unconscious and taken by ambulance to hospital, where the emergency services confirmed later he was not seriously injured.
Work to sweep snow had started on the roof of the building, but the workers had not begun on the side where the incident occurred.
There is an emergency number that Stockholmers can call if they see dangerous icicles forming. So far this winter the service has taken some 600 calls, half of which have come since Christmas.
“The change in the weather conditions has caused the problem. When the temperature is around zero, icicles start to form from the combination of melting ice and the warmth from the building,” said Fredrik Tamm, managing director for Stockholms Fastighetskalender, the organisation which mans the helpline to TT.
Last winter the helpline received 3000 calls. After each call the owner of the house or building concerned is informed exactly where the icicles are.
“The owners of the building should immediately remove the snow and ice which are threatening to fall,” says Rune Thomsson, legal manager for Fastighetsägarna, the organisation run by building and homeowners.
The owner can be reported and forced to pay fines if an accident occurs. It is also not sufficient to simply put up signs warning of possible falling icicles.
“A sign should be there for a short while to tell people that the icicles will be removed. As there can sometimes be a delay before the snow sweepers arrive, everything possible should be done to make people aware they should not enter the area, ” Said Thomsson.