Morning headlines: Tuesday 2nd July 2019

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00.

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Two in hospital, 50 evacuated in apartment building fire 

Two people were taken to hospital for treatment, and dozens of others evacuated from their homes after an overnight fire in a Lahti apartment building. Rescue crews were called to the building in Lahti’s Liipola neighbourhood around 22:00 on Monday night and found thick smoke coming from the five-storey apartment building. Fifty residents were evacuated, and one man who rescued from the burning home on the top floor of the building was taken to hospital for treatment. Another person was later also taken to hospital. The heat of the fire shattered windows in the burning apartment and spread to the eaves and into the roof structure of the building. This morning fire crews are still on the scene putting out the last of the fire but one apartment has been completely destroyed, while others are damaged by water. An investigation is look at how the fire started, although early indications are that it began in the kitchen.

Train delays continue after heavy thunder storm

VR says long distance trains are delayed today between Kouvola and Imatra in both directions after a heavy thunder storm rolled in over Lappeenranta on Monday night causing faults in the railway traffic control systems. Trains are currently running 30-60 minutes later than timetabled and no estimation on when things will get back to normal.

Roads closed as Japan Royal visit begins 

Japan’s Crown Prince and Crown Princess will start a four-day visit to Finland today, and their motorcades will cause disruptions on the roads in the capital region and the south west as well. The royal couple are making their first visit to Finland and have a programme of events with President Sauli Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio both in Helsinki and in Turku. The visit marks 100 years of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan.

Europe Minister: Climate change, Brexit and Finland’s EU impact

Finland’s Europe Minister Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP) says she hopes Brexit doesn’t overshadow Finland’s Presidency of the European Council over the next six months, as the Finns try to keep a firm focus on climate change. The Minister was speaking to News Now Finland in her first English-language interview of the rotating EU Presidency, and warned that the withdrawal agreement already agreed between Britain and the EU would not be re-opened and re-negotiated – despite what the two candidates to be Britain’s next Prime Minister have been saying. Oulu MP Tuppurainen also said that there could be cold hard cash on offer for EU countries like Estonia who are reluctant to sign up to a 2050 timetable to be carbon neutral. Read more in our original story here.

Tuesday morning weather

Another mixed weather picture for the start of Tuesday. There’s rain in the far north, centre and south of the country – and they’re still clearing up in the south east after Monday night’s severe thunder storm around Lappeenranta. The weather is set to take a cooler turn in the next few days but until then expect temperatures between +12C and +18C in the forecast for Tuesday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 2nd July 2019 / Credit: FMI