Truck carrying more than 15 tons of explosives intended for coal mines in Svalbard overturned in northern Norway. As reported today by NRK, the truck driver drove into a ditch while trying to avoid a collision on the road with the reindeer herd which came out from the forest. As a result of the incident which took place last night the explosion of dangerous goods has not occurred, the driver was not injured, but the eight animals were killed.
According to police of Nordland, ASDT explosive which is a mixture of ammonium nitrate with combustible substances that was found in the vehicle, has a rather low sensitivity and special procedure is needed to explode it. At the moment the E6 highway, where the incident happened, is re-opened. In the upcoming hours the truck will be towed to Tromsø.
Population of wild reindeers in Norway is one of the largest in the world and employs up to 40 thousand animals. In the last few decades as a result of human activities the habitat of migratory herds in the country has declined significantly: especially by the affect of railways and roads, also newly created hydroelectric stations’ reservoirs, logging – particularly in Finland, which is also home to the animals. In many cases this leads to starvation in separate herds, which are no longer able to travel for long distances in search of food.
However, usually not wild but mostly domesticated reindeers are the cause of car accidents. Their number in Norway is much more than the wild ones. They are not afraid of people and large quantities of deers are found near human settlements. In recent years, the authorities are implementing a program to equip the reindeer with reflective beacons in order to reduce the number of accidents, which annually ends with killing of nearly 500 animals.