International Student Blog

A tragic loss on Trolltunga

I was going to post today about planning a trip to Lofoten, one of the many questions I’m still responding to from the wonderful students who left comments this summer. I promise I will still get to that (thank you for your patience, commentor), but I didn’t feel like I could write light-heartedly today on traveling or on any topic. I was taken aback by an email I, along with some other international students, received yesterday morning informing us of the death of an international student here at UiB and an informational meeting about the incident which occurred yesterday.

In a truly tragic accident, Kristi Kafcaloudis, a 24-year-old Australian student died in fall from Trolltunga Saturday, September 5th, 2015, less than a month after arriving in Norway.  She was studying Norwegian Art, Theatre and Cultural Studies and Popular Music this semester. She went with friends to Trolltunga, a popular hike near Odda. It seems that she stepped too far over some rocks as she went to have a photo taken by friends, losing her balance and falling about 200-300 meters. Bjorn Arild Fjeldsbø, a member of the Red Cross team who performed the difficult task of recovering her body, believes that this is the first fatality at Trolltunga.

 

Her immediate family have been informed. I can only imagine how devastating this news must be for them, and, although I know words cannot make an impact on what they must be feeling, I send them my deepest condolences. And, likewise, to her friends who accompanied her; I send everyone as much healing and peace as possible.

UiB’s rector, Dag Rune Olsen, says his thoughts are with her family as well as tending to the students who were with her through the informational meeting as well as opportunities to a psychologist here at UiB (students can also speak to a counselor).  He also feels it necessary to put more emphasis on outdoor safety for students.

It is vital to be aware of the very real challenges and dangers involved in exploring Norway’s landscape. Please read ahead, get prepared, and be careful as you engage in Norwegian adventures whether in the mountains or fjords. And, please join me in sending some love to Kristi’s family and friends.

For more English-language information on this tragic event, click here.

 

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