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ACCIDENT

Bus crashes near Arlanda airport after driver faints

A double-decker bus carrying 72 passengers crashed north of Stockholm on Sunday evening after the driver passed out while behind the wheel.

Bus crashes near Arlanda airport after driver faints

“I had just fallen asleep when I heard everyone start screaming. Suddenly the bus drove into the ditch and tipped over,” a passenger told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

After the driver fainted, the bus veered off the E4 motorway north of Stockholm’s Arlanda airport.

All of the passengers on the bus survived the crash relatively unscathed, save for a few minor cuts and bruises.

“The driver’s vision started to go black and then he fainted,” said Benny Eriksson, CEO of bus operator Ceris Resor, to the TT news agency.

The bus’s second driver noticed what was happening and took the wheel from his passed-out colleague, but was unable to prevent the vehicle from heading into the ditch.

However, the bus had lost quite a bit of speed before veering off the road.

According to Eriksson, the bus then came to a standstill before then falling on its side.

The bus had started it’s journey at the Stockholm harbour of Värtahamn, where it had picked up passengers traveling back to Sweden from the Baltic islands of Åland with Tallinn and Silja Line ferries.

The bus was set to make stops in Uppsala and Gävle in eastern Sweden before continuing north to Sundsvall.

A car that stopped near the scene of the accident was also hit by another car, causing minor injuries to people in both cars, according to police.

As of late Sunday night, it still remained unclear what caused the driver of the bus to pass out.

According to Eriksson, the driver is 55-years-old and has been working as a driver for Ceris Resor for 15 years.

“It was damn lucky that things went as they did,” he told TT.

TT/The Local/dl

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EXPLAINED: What can I do if I miss my flight due to Sweden’s airport chaos?

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is once again suffering hour-long queues for security due to a surge in travel and personnel shortages. What can you do if you miss your flight?

EXPLAINED: What can I do if I miss my flight due to Sweden's airport chaos?

What’s the situation at Arlanda over the Ascension Day weekend? 

According to the airport operator Svedavia, the worst peak for the long weekend is probably over. “Today looks good with no long waiting time at Arlanda,” Ellen Laurin, the company’s press officer, told The Local on Friday. “Yesterday morning [Thusday], we had a morning peak before nine in the morning, and the rest of the day was OK.” 

According to Swedavia’s website, waiting times at security were less than five minutes on Friday morning.  

However, she warned that there could once again be big queues on Sunday when those who have travelled to Sweden over the long weekend make their way home. 

“Sunday is a big travel day when people will fly home again. There could be queues at peak times,” she said. “We recommend that passengers have a close contact with their airline for information about their flight. It is important to have extra time at the airport and to be prepared.  

READ ALSO: What’s behind the queues at Arlanda Airport? 

Which airports in other countries have problems? 

Arlanda is not the only airport facing problems due to delays staffing up again after the pandemic. On Friday morning, Twitter users were complaining of two-hour queues at the border control at Heathrow Airport in the UK, while at the UK’s Manchester Airport, passengers were reporting queues for security of up to two hours on Thursday. 

Dublin Airport is also facing regular two-hour queues at security. Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport had a 1km security queue on Thursday, pushing the Dutch airline KLM to cancel flights. 

Can I get compensation or insurance payments if I missed my flight due to the queues? 

The SAS airline has already underlined that it is their customers’ responsibility to make sure that they arrive at the airport in sufficiently good time to make their flight. 

“To be certain you can come with us, you should be in good time, and if you are in good time, you will manage to get your flight,” she told state broadcaster SR. “It is always the customer’s responsibility to be on your way as early as is necessary.”

People who miss flights are also likely to struggle to get payouts from travel insurance, warned Gabriella Hallberg, an expert on travel insurance at the Swedish Consumers’ Insurance Bureau. 

“If you’re at the airport and are hit by security controls that take a very long time, they consider that it is the consumer themselves who have not planned their journey,” she told SR

She said that it might be possible to find an insurance company that is willing to insure against flights missed due to security queues. 

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