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Truck on collapsed E6 in Sweden: special forces searched area

Photo: Adam Ihse / AP

The motorway is considered an important connection to the Norwegian capital Oslo: In the west of Sweden, parts of an expressway collapsed after a landslide near the small town of Stenungsund.

Several cars crashed in the incident about 50 kilometers north of Gothenburg over the edge of the destroyed European route E6, three people came to the hospital on Saturday with minor injuries, according to police.

A motorist who drove his car over the edge of the accident on Saturday night told the broadcaster SVT about the accident. "The car just flew," he is quoted as saying. After the impact, he got the door open with difficulty and stood in the mud.

Did blasting trigger the landslide?

Footage showed a long crack through the area near a gas station. At a Burger King restaurant, parts of the roof collapsed. The earth masses set in motion over a length of several hundred meters, emergency services speak of an area of 700 by 200 meters. However, there is still no clear picture of what happened and how it could have happened, police said. One thing is clear: the motorway is likely to be interrupted for a long time.

According to the municipality of Stenungsund, the landslide occurred on Saturday night at around 1.20 a.m. Special forces and search dogs searched the affected area to ensure that there were no people in the earth masses. The police launched an investigation into the work on a construction site in the area. Explosions had been carried out there. Whether there is a connection to the landslide is still unclear.

Previous landslides in Sweden often had to do with heavy rainfall and also with the soil conditions there.

The E6 was closed in both directions. It runs in Scandinavia over thousands of kilometres from the far north across large parts of Norway to the southern Swedish port city of Trelleborg, from where Baltic Sea ferries also cross to Rostock and Travemünde.