First death reported from winter storm Aapeli

The victim was helping clean-up efforts in the aftermath of Wednesday's storm

File picture of Åland ambulance / Credit: Mariehamns Räddningsverk

A 45-year old man in Åland has died, the first reported casualty of winter storm Aapeli which swept through the islands and mainland Finland on Wednesday.

Officials say he was working outside to clear debris caused by the storm’s high winds, when the tractor-excavator rolled over.

“The circumstances were, it was a person that was participating in the cleaning of the area, who was killed due to an accident with a machine” explains Mariehamn Rescue Department Chief Karl Nordlund.

The storm brought near-hurricane force winds to sea and land, and cause widespread damages to roofs, with roads closed due to fallen trees.

Today, crews are still working in Åland to clean up after the storm.

“The work is ongoing, we have all the people we can get to work. We are restoring power lines and we are securing communications for mobile phones and the line-based phones. We are also securing infrastructure for daycare and elderly care and so on” Nordlund tells News Now Finland.

Repair crews are tackling the problems in order of priority, and some municipal services in Åland like exercise tracks remain closed for now, in the aftermath of the storm.