The road from Kandalaksha towards the border to Finland is going through some of the most remote areas of taiga forest on the Kola Peninsula. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Man found dead on Arctic migrant route after waiting in a car for five days in temperatures below minus 30

The 33-years old might have frozen to death near the checkpoint where he had been waiting for five days to get to the Finnish border.
January 18, 2016

The man was found dead in the seat of a car near the road checkpoint two kilometres from Alakurtti on the main road from Kandalaksha on the Kola Peninsula towards Salla border to Finland, reports Severpost.

According to law enforcement officials, the man was found dead Sunday morning. Then he had been waiting at the checkpoint for five days, since January 12th. Those five days have been some of the coldest this winter with temperatures dropping below minus 30 degree Celsius in the area. 

Eyewitnesses say the man, reportedly a Indian citizen, had been shivering in the car for a few days, Flashnord reports. Komsomolskaya Pravda reports that the man did not get help from others because he could not pay for “service.”

The numbers of migrants on the Arctic Route heading for Finland’s Salla border have increased substantially since Norway introduced stricter immigration rules in late November last year. Since November 29th, not one single migrant without legal entry visa to Norway has been let through Russia’s Borisoglebsk border checkpoint and subsequently not entered Norway at Storskog.

This weekend, 52 migrants have entered Lapland from Russia at Salla, Finland’s Border Guard reports. So far in 2016, 306 persons have applied for asylum at Raja-Jooseppi (Ivalo) and Salla border checkpoints.

The majority are Afghans, Nepalese, Indians, Iranians and Iraqis.

Last week, the Independent Barents Observer reported that groups of people, including children, started to walk on the road from Kandalaksha towards Salla. The people were rescued by the local medical service in Alakurtti because of the freezing cold weather.

After the incident with the walking migrants in the frost, regional authorities on Saturday decided to open the hotel in Kandalaksha for migrants awaiting transport to the Finnish border, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported. The newspaper also informs that many migrants have been staying in cars on the road for days in the extreme cold weather, with temperatures down to minus 40 degree Celsius.

The reason why the migrants choose to stay for days in the cars in line for the checkpoint to Alakurtti is said to be because they don’t want to lose their number in the queue.  

The road from Kandalaksha, via Alakurtti and further to Salla goes through some of the most remote wilderness areas on the Kola Peninsula with very few buildings along the road.

Sections
Borders