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Family flabbergasted by phone fire fiasco

A family from western Sweden whose house burned down to the ground is steaming mad after learning the sky high price of having their telephone service reconnected.

Family flabbergasted by phone fire fiasco

The Hansson family’s home near Ängesåsen in western Sweden was left completely destroyed by a fire in the autumn of 2011.

While the family waited for their home to be rebuilt, they had telephone operator TeliaSonera connect their fixed phone line to a temporary address nearby.

With their new home completed, the Hanssons contacted the phone company once again to request to have their phone service reconnected.

The response they received, however, came as a shock.

“It’s going to cost 17,000 kronor ($2,600) to reconnect again,” Kjell Hansson told Sveriges Television (SVT).

“I couldn’t believe it. I can’t pay that much just to get my phone back.”

While it only cost around 500 kronor to have the family’s number moved to their temporary address, moving the account back to their new home isn’t quite as simple.

Because the Hansson’s new home was built from the ground up and must be reconnected to the telephone network, setting up the service at their old address is viewed by TeliaSonera as starting up a totally new account.

Part of the problem is that the line connecting the home to the telephone network was also destroyed by the fire, and the phone company has said it will cost 17,000 kronor for the work involved in connecting the line to the nearest telephone pole, which is 30 metres away from the edge of the Hansson’s new home.

As mobile phone coverage is “terrible” in the mountainous area, the family views having a fixed line as a necessity.

“It’s regrettable that the family was hit with an expense like this. We need to head out to the scene to sort this out,” Marcus Haglund, spokesman for Teliasonera told SVT.

“But it’s strange that their insurance doesn’t cover this.”

The Local/dl

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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