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Bodies of drowned Finnish divers ‘may take weeks to be recovered’

Police say reaching the accident site 130 metres underground will be particularly dangerous for rescuers. The three other divers injured in Thursday’s accident in northern Norway are in a non-serious condition and are suffering mild symptoms of decompression sickness.

Video: NRK:n arkistokuvaa luolastosta.
Video: NRK

The recovery of the bodies of the two Finnish divers who drowned while exploring deep underwater caves may take many weeks, according to reports in Norwegian state media.

The authority in charge of the search and recovery operation, Hegeland Police, say the divers drowned 130 metres underwater, in northern Europe’s deepest cave system. “Bringing the bodies back to the surface is particularly challenging and the safety of the rescuers is paramount,” a spokesperson said.

A similar fatal accident in the Jordbrugrotta caves claimed the life of a diver in 2006. At that time the operation to recover the body, trapped 90 metres down, took three weeks and required the involvement of diving experts from Germany and Scotland.

Two Finns drowned in the caves, close to the northern town of Mo i Rana, between Thursday night and Friday morning. Three more Finnish divers were hurt in the incident and taken to hospital in Tromso.

Authorities in charge of the cave system have now banned further diving expeditions to the caves, and police will continue investigating the causes of the incident by examining the area and speaking to the other divers.

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