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Last missing victim of Feb. 6 sea ice accident found

Police photo of a diver at the edge of the ice at the scene of the incident on Tuesday. Feb. 6, 2018.
Police photo of a diver at the edge of the ice at the scene of the incident on Tuesday. Feb. 6, 2018. Source: (PPA)

Volunteers recovered the body on Feb. 15 at 4:25 p.m., police reported. The man was the fourth and last missing victim of the accident that happened on Feb. 6 when a van broke through the sea ice some 500 meters away from Munalaiu Harbor in Pärnu County.

The body is now with the coroner, who will determine the precise cause of death. Andres Sinimeri, in charge of the Pärnu police station, thanked the volunteers as well as those taking care of the victims' next of kin for their help.

On Feb. 6 a van initially headed for Munalaiu Harbor turned away from the road and drove out onto the ice. Police were informed at 12:04 p.m. that an accident had occurred on the sea ice just off the harbor.

The van broke through the ice. Rescuers were able to get a man and a woman off the ice immediately who had managed to get out of the quickly sinking vehicle. Four more passengers were initially reported missing. Three bodies were recovered on the same day, the fourth has now been found by volunteers as well.

The police and rescuers' work was hampered by low visibility and currents below the ice on the day the accident occurred. While the police and Rescue Board's operations officially ended on Feb. 13, volunteers continued the search for the missing body.

According to statements made by locals on Feb. 6, the van's passengers were drunk. The accident is now the subject of a criminal proceeding initiated by the prosecutor's office.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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