Deadly Levi fire caused by electrical cable fault
A fire at a holiday home in Levi which killed three girls in April was caused by a faulty underfloor heating cable. The Accident Investigation Board OTKES has released its report into the incident which shocked the local community, and says that cables were bent too tight, and secured in a way that damaged them, leading to the fire which was limited to an area around one square metre in the living room. The living room had a high open space, and the smoke rose upstairs where the girls were sleeping. One person on the ground floor woke up at the sound of the smoke alarm and called the emergency services but it was too late to save the girls inside, who died of smoke inhalation.
Police launch drink driving crackdown
Finnish police forces are launching a two day nationwide crackdown on drunk drivers. During the next 48 hours they expect to carry out thousands of breath tests. “The risk of getting caught this weekend is even higher than usual” says Inspector Heikki Ihalainen. In 2018, around 30% of everyone killed or injured on Finland’s roads was due to drunk driving accidents – with more than a third of those people aged 15-24. Last year about 19,000 drunk drivers were caught by police.
Parties challenged to get young people voting
As the European Parliament election day gets closer, Finland’s political parties are stepping up efforts to engage with voters. There’s two main challenges this year: first, to get more young people voting; and secondly to avoid voter fatigue after a long domestic election season already. Just 10% of Finnish 18-24 year olds voted in the last Euro Parliament elections. “I think that [young people] feel that the EU is really distant and they don’t know how the EU affects their everyday life, and that’s something we need to fix now” says National Coalition Party candidate Aura Salla. Read more at our original story here.
Swiss President meets President Niinistö
The President of Switzerland is making a one day working visit to Finland today. Ueli Maurer is hosted by President Sauli Niinistö for discussions at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki. On the agenda are bilateral relations between the two countries, European security, and Finland’s EU Presidency which begins on 1st July. The Swiss president will also have a meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre), and Speaker of Parliament (and likely next Prime Minister) Antti Rinne (SDP).
Ice hockey World Championships begin
The Finnish men’s national team is taking on the best teams in the world in the ice hockey World Championships which start today in Slovakia. The Lions have a tough start to the competition as they face Canada this afternoon in their opening match. Other teams in their group include the USA, Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, France and Slovakia. Finland has sent a relatively inexperienced side to the World Championships, with many playing in a top international tournament for the firs time. Finland’s most experienced players are locked into contracts with their NHL teams.
Friday morning weather
It’s a bright and mild start to Friday morning across the whole country with the best of the sunshine to be found in Lapland. There’s cloud cover over the southern part of Finland but the sun should still peak through the clouds in most areas. Temperatures range from +5C in north west Lapland to +12C in Oulu; +10C in Vaasa; +8C in Jyväskylä, Tampere, Turku, Helsinki and the capital city region, and +10C in the south east as well.