Teenager missing after tractor goes through ice

Swedish police fear that a 17 year-old boy has drowned after a tractor went through the ice in western Sweden late Tuesday evening. His companion managed to get out safely.

“Any hope of finding the boy alive is sadly gone,” police officer Kerstin Aspåker said to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper early on Wednesday morning.

The accident occurred shortly before 11pm on Tuesday on the lake Lillsjön, northwest of Sunne, a town in western Sweden. According to the local radio station P4 Värmland, the two 17 year-old boys were out on the ice in a tractor.

“They were trying to plough a track on the ice. I think they were eventually planning to make a track to drive cars on,” said Lennart Edvardsson, head of emergency services in Sunne to P4 Värmland.

When the heavy tractor broke through the ice, one of the boys successfully got out safely.

“One of them made it out and came up onto the ice on his own. But the other went down into the water along with the tractor,” said Edvardsson.

According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, the police plan to continue their search on Wednesday, as soon as they get hold of divers to search the lake.

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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.