Swedish teen dies in motocross crash

A 15-year-old boy was killed in during a motocross competition in Sweden on Sunday afternoon in Västerås in central Sweden.

It’s the fourth motor sport fatality in Sweden within the past year, a development which confounds officials within the Sweden’s motorcycle and snowmobile association, Svenska motorcykel- och snöskoterförbundet (Svemo).

The accident that killed the 15-year-old occurred during the second heat in the MX2-class competition, known previously as the 125-class.

“Shortly after the start, there was a spill and a few riders fell off,” Peter Isberg, coordinator for motocross at Svemo and an eyewitness to the accident, told the TT news agency.

Despite quick action by doctors and the fact that the 15-year-old was taken to hospital in Västerås, he was unable to recover from his injuries.

Following the accident, race officials decided to stop the rest of the competition, which was the fourth of six qualifying events for the Swedish motocross championships.

“Now what will happen is that Svemo will launch in investigation, that’s common procedure following a bad accident,” said Isberg.

The fatal accident in Västerås is the fourth within Swedish motor sports within the last year, and the third within motocross.

Not since 2007 have there been so many deadly motor sport accidents in Sweden.

Per Westling, secretary general of Svemo, said the trend is extremely frustrating, and despite the association’s best efforts, no common factor has been found linking the accidents.

“We can’t see what has happened, there’s no pattern for the accidents other than that they are all accidents,” he told TT.

Using the investigations’ findings as a basis, the association plans to redouble its efforts to search for possible changes that could be made to reduce the risk of future accidents, such as the size of the bikes, the shape of the tracks, current regulations, as well as medical care are some of the aspects to be examined.

In addition, the physique of the drivers themselves may also play a role in accidnets.

“It’s one of the many theories we’re looking into, and if that’s the case, we want to have it confirmed and then look at what we can do about it,” said Westling.

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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.