Department of Foreign Affairs monitoring Norway accident, no reports of Irish casualties

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is continuing to monitor reports of an accident in Norway.

A number of people including tourists were taken to hospital last night after a boating collision near the town of Harstad.

It is understood almost two dozen people were injured when a speedboat hit a water fountain.

There are no reports of any Irish citizens caught up in the situation.

Two boats carrying 24 people between them were returning from a sightseeing trip when one hit the fountain in the harbour, around 875 miles north of the capital Oslo.

A boat picks up tourists from the water after an accident in Harstad harbour in Northern Norway, yesterday. Pic: AP

Witnesses said the boats were travelling at high speeds and those aboard the one involved in the accident were thrown into the water "like dolls".

Eleven people, including 10 British tourists, are thought to have been injured, and they were left in waters just above freezing for around 15 minutes before being rescued.

Three tourists suffered moderate injuries while seven had minor injuries, police said, while the driver is thought to be in a critical but stable condition.

The incident is thought to have happened at around 3pm local time (2pm GMT) and involved a rigid-inflatable boat (Rib).

The British group were on a tour with a local travel agent, a company co-owned by a member of the local police in Harstad and a former employee of the force, police said.

Neither was aboard the boat that hit the fountain but both witnessed the accident.

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