SHARE
COPY LINK

TRAFFIC

Driver found dead after tanker truck inferno

Investigators confirmed that the driver of a tanker truck that crashed and exploded on the E6 motorway north of Gothenburg on Wednesday morning died in the fiery wreck.

Driver found dead after tanker truck inferno

The driver of the truck that crashed into the tanker has been taken to hospital while police have launched a preliminary investigation into suspected reckless driving.

“It’s a pretty normal measure to take in a situation like this. We need to impound the vehicle, which is a coercive measure meaning you have to start a preliminary investigation,” police spokesperson Stefan Gustafsson told the TT news agency.

However, there are no prime suspects at the moment.

“No, absolutely not. Quite the opposite, we’re going to examine why the accident occurred,” he said.

It remains unclear whether or not other vehicles may have been involved in the fiery crash, which closed traffic on the main transit artery in both directions on Wednesday.

“But we have no information indicating that that is the case and we should have found something at this point,” said Gustafsson.

“The explosion was powerful, however, and there may only be a pile of metal left, so we’ll have to see whether or not there is anything from another vehicle. We’ve got investigators on the scene.”

Emergency crews had finished their work by Wednesday afternoon, handing clean-up work over to the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket).

“Retrieval work also remains so that we can deal with what remains of the tanker,” said Gustafsson.

The tanker truck was carrying both diesel fuel and gasoline at the time of the accident.

The E6 remains closed at the site of the accident and isn’t expected to reopen before 7am Thursday morning after new asphalt has been laid.

The stretch of road is a heavily used transit artery in southern Sweden, carrying an average of 2,000-4,000 heavy vehicles per day.

According to Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap – MSB), blazes with such massive flames and thick smoke are rarely seen in Sweden.

Since 2006, the agency has registered 81 roadway accidents with hazardous materials, not including incidents involving on- or off-loading.

One such accident involved an explosion, while fires started in thirteen others incidents.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

SWEDISH HISTORY

Why is Gothenburg known as Sweden’s ‘Little London’?

With ties to Britain dating back more than 200 years, the city of Gothenburg has long been known as Sweden’s Little London.

Why is Gothenburg known as Sweden’s 'Little London'?

Grey skies, rainy days, a wide-mouthed river, and a love for English pubs. At first glance, it’s no wonder that Gothenburg has long held the nickname of Sweden’s own “Little London”, or Lilla London

But what are the origins of this British title?

“The nickname ‘Little London’ was first used in a newspaper in 1766,” explains Håkan Strömberg, educational officer at the Museum of Gothenburg.

“The Brits were the largest immigration group during the 1700s and early 1800s, mainly because Sweden was a country close by, it was economically underdeveloped compared to England and Scotland and had a lot of raw materials. To put it simply, could make some money here.”

The city’s reputation as a British enclave dates back to the 1700s when trade brought many foreign influences to the Västra Götaland region.

As merchants and shipbuilders like Charles Chapman, David Carnegie, and James Dickson moved to the area, local residents began to notice a growing list of similarities between the Swedish port city and the British capital.

Indeed, even one of Sweden’s most renowned scientists, Carl Von Linné, is said to have commented on the similarities between the two cities when he visited Gothenburg in the 1700s.

 “Being a group of upper-class immigrants, the British merchants made sure they had access to all the good things from their home country. But the feeling of Gothenburg as a Little London was most likely something the Swedish citizens had, rather than the Brits,” adds Strömberg. 

The historical roots that connect the UK and Gothenburg are still evident today, with many spots in the city still alluding to British names, like Chalmers University – founded by the son of a wealthy Scottish industrialist, or Chapmans Torgnamed after a family of sailors and shipbuilders once well-established in the area. 

Catriona Chaplin, a British expat turned Gothenburger, only began to see the similarities and know of the nickname after relocating to the region for work. Growing up in Leicestershire, central England, she’d never heard of London’s Swedish sibling city.

“We came to Gothenburg 17 years ago. We’d never heard about [the nickname] until we moved here, but there is a bar on Avenyn called Lilla London, so that’s when we started to know about it,” she says.

Today, as the membership secretary of the British Club of Gothenburg, she brings a taste of the British Isles to life in Gothenburg.

The Club, which organises social events like concerts, quiz nights, and theatre performances, has a membership base of nearly 200 families. And although less than 0.5 percent of Gothenburg’s population today was born in the UK, the club welcomes members from a range of nationalities.

In fact, the only membership requirement is having some kind of interest in the UK, be it from a cultural standpoint, a past tourist experience, or a love of the language. 

“People come to the British Club just to socialise in their native language. It’s also about the culture, like the banter, the jokes and playing on words,” she says. 

Although the city’s British roots run deep, questions remain about modern-day Gothenburg’s status as “Little London”.

To some, the west-coast maritime hub’s industrial legacy, strong working-class culture, and amiable nature are reminiscent of a different English city. “They ought to call it ‘Little Liverpool’!” says Chaplin, with a smile. 

Lasting Landmarks

Evidence of Gothenburg’s British connections can be found in many of its landmarks, shops, and of course, pubs. Some of the historical hotspots still apparent today include:

Haga – The British ‘hood 

The area of Haga, just outside the old city, was once considered a slum, but changed character thanks to British philanthropist Robert Dickson (1782-1858), who built public baths, a library, and other landmarks with the typical red bricks found in Britain at the time.

St Andrew’s Church 

A key part of the British community is the Anglican church of Saint Andrew’s, also in Haga. Dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland, it was built and to date funded by ‘The British Factory’, a British society founded in the 1700s to help expats in Gothenburg that remains active even today.

The Victorian gothic style of the church is in line with the architectural trend in Britain at the time. 

John Scott – a legend among Gothenburgers

One of Gothenburg’s most well-loved establishments is John Scott’s, a local pub chain named after Pastor John Henry Scott, an Englishman and prominent landowner in 18th century Gothenburg. 

The “English quarter”

The square of buildings delineated by Teatergatan, Storgatan, Kungsportsavenyn and Vasagatan was once known as the city’s English Quarter. The buildings in this neighbourhood are influenced by British design, and the original landowners were in fact English pastor John Henry Scott and his wife, Jacobina.

By Alexander Maxia, Lisa Ostrowski and Sanna Sailer

SHOW COMMENTS