A van broke through the sea ice about 500 m away from Munalaiu harbor in Pärnu County's Tõstamaa area. Six people were on board, of which two were rescued off the ice, two were found dead, and two are still missing.
The West emergency center received a call at 12:07 p.m. on Tuesday that a van had broken through the sea ice some 500 m away from the port. A hovercraft of the Rescue Board was able to get a 41-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman off the ice. Both were taken to Pärnu Hospital. The man is in critical condition.
According to information currently available, the two that got out were in the front of the van. Of the two dead bodies found by Police and Border Guard divers, one apparently was the driver of the vehicle.
The police are still looking for the remaining two passengers of the van.
Divers were called to the location where the van broke through the ice to look for the four remaining passengers. The water depth in the area is roughly 4 m.
The divers were expected for 1:30 p.m., Rescue Board personnel finished their search at the surface at 1:45 p.m., with the Police and Border Guard (PPA) taking over.
There are no official ice roads in the area. There is currently no information available about the reason why the van left the mainland and drove out onto the ice. According to preliminary information, the people on board the van were intoxicated.
Local Mark Soosaar told ERR early on Tuesday afternoon that the ice is currently too thin to walk on. The van was seen heading towards the Kihnu ferry that was in the harbor at the time, but then apparently the vehicle turned away towards the sea, drove onto the ice and headed towards Manilaid.
Editor: Dario Cavegn