No safety cord at the time of the tourist's death

22.06.2022 - 14:22
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Safety concerns in Gleðivík bay in Djúpivogur, East Iceland, are now under review after a foreign tourist was hit by a forklift truck there and died yesterday. A cord separating pedestrians and traffic had been taken down.

A fatal accident occurred in Djúpivogur at noon yesterday when a foreign tourist in his 70s was caught in the path of a forklift truck. According to the East Iceland Police, a severe accident in the port area of Gleðivík was reported at 13.15. Paramedics immediately attended to the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident is under investigation.

There is a lot of machinery and pedestrian traffic in Gleðivík in Djúpivogur. The beach displays a work of art by Sigurður Guðmundsson, giant replicas of 34 bird eggs that stand on concrete pillars, which previously held up the landing pipe of the smelter in Gleðivík. 

When the artwork was installed in 2009, there was little activity in the harbour in Gleðivík, as the smelter had been closed. Since then, the number of tourists and local traffic has increased due to salmon farming. A large foam box factory is being built in Gleðivík, and there is a concrete plant by the harbour. 

Tourists who visit Djúpivogur often walk along the beach and explore the eggs in Gleðivík. Locals are aware of the dangers of heavy traffic, and a safety rope was strung along the coast to separate pedestrians from the driving traffic. Not everyone was satisfied with the solution; some thought the cord was ugly even though it was a temporary safety measure. It was also not guaranteed that tourists would find themselves on the right side of the rope. 

At noon yesterday, at the time of the accident, the rope was not there. According to locals, it had been taken down last autumn and wasn't there throughout the winter. After the decision of the local authorities, it was not replaced this spring due to the construction works. The cord is now being replaced, and additional markings and warnings are being considered. For some time, there has been a debate about finding another place in Djúpivogur for the artwork. 

The man in his 70s was travelling with relatives that witnessed the accident. A priest arrived in Djúpivogur yesterday to offer his assistance to the man's relatives. They also received trauma assistance from the Red Cross in Egilsstaðir later during the day. 

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