Police suspect eight drivers for fatal pile-up

Police suspect eight drivers of reckless driving and one of manslaughter, as the investigation into January's fatal truck pile-up in southern Sweden comes to a close.

Police suspect eight drivers for fatal pile-up

The 71-vehicle pile-up occurred in mid-January on the E4 motorway near Helsingborg, southwestern Sweden. One person was killed and dozens were injured as traffic on the both lanes of the Tranarpsbron bridge skidded to a halt.

“It’s been a mammoth piece of puzzle solving but we’re approaching the end now,” investigator Arne Davidsson of the local police told the Helsingborg Dagbladet newspaper (HD) on Monday.

IN PICTURES:The scene January’s crash

After the two-month probe, police now suspect eight drivers of reckless driving, including not leaving sufficient distance between themselves and other motorists considering the icy conditions.

“Tranarpsbron bridge could almost be compared with two tunnels. The emergency services couldn’t come in from the side or from above. All the work had to be done from either end – just like if it had have happened in a tunnel,” Davidsson said.

Another driver is suspected of manslaughter after the trailer of his truck killed a driver from Lithuania who had exited his vehicle and was helping warn other motorists to slow down.

Of the eight suspected drivers, seven are truck drivers and one was driving a car. Five of the drivers are Swedish.

The crash involved 38 trucks and 33 cars.

TT/The Local/og

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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.