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Norway: Avalanche Claims Bus

An avalanche swept a bus into the sea in northern Norway on Wednesday, killing at least five people, authorities said.

Police said they believed that up to 10 people were on the bus when it was caught in the avalanche, but that number could not be confirmed. Local fishermen and rescue crews plucked at least two survivors and five bodies from the icy water.

The accident occurred Wednesday afternoon along a fjord near Lyngseidet, 1,000 miles north of the capital Oslo. The bus and a car were waiting for a snowplow to open the road after a previous avalanche.

The bus was found 60 feet below the water's surface, police spokesman Arvid Isaksen said.

A raging snowstorm and early winter darkness hampered several fishing boats, navy divers, rescue helicopters and a navy vessel sent to search for those missing.

Rescue crews also feared additional avalanches, as storms in the past few days have left thick layers of wet and heavy snow on the steep slopes above the road that runs along the fjord.

The snowplow was shoved into the fjord, but Norwegian radio reported that the driver survived. The driver of the car also escaped, but police could not rule out the possibility that other vehicles were caught in the snow.

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