A herd of reindeer pasture beside the road of Kaamasentie in Lapland area, northern Finland, 55 km away from Norway border on Oct. 28, 2013. (Xinhua/Li Jizhi)
OSLO, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A total of 106 reindeer were killed by freight trains during the course of three days along a railway line in northern Norway, public broadcaster NRK reported Monday.
Bane NOR, the government agency responsible for operation of railway network, had previously ensured owner Ole Henrik Kappfjell that trains would run slower in the area where the reindeer were situated.
However, the message, never reached the trains, according to NRK. As a result, several trains on the Nordland Line through Helgeland ran into the herd at full speed, killing a total of 106 reindeer over three days.
"We, reindeer owners, have a close relationship with our animals. I am so angry that I am almost dizzy," Kappfjell told NRK.
He added that one of the tortured animals was hanging fast on the locomotive all the way to the station in Mosjoen.
"This is a completely meaningless animal tragedy. We are going through a mental nightmare now," he said.
According to Torstein Appfjell, leader of Jillen-Njaarke reindeer herding area, where the tragedy happened, 26 reindeer were run down by train on Wednesday, 15 on Friday, and 65 on Saturday.
Owners of reindeer are working these days to bring their animals to Sjamoen to separate them and to transport them to the coast for winter pastures.
Area Director of Bane NOR, Thor Braekkan, expressed regret that the message about reindeer on the railway track had not been forwarded, due to "a technical failure".
Braekkan told NRK that Kappfjell did everything right when he contacted them.
"He notified us and the message was added to the system. Unfortunately, this message never reached the train due to a technical failure. When it was discovered that the message had disappeared, the company tried to call the train. Unfortunately, it was too late," Braekkan explained.
"This happens very rarely. The routines work well, but, unfortunately, a technical failure happened," he added.
Between 2013 and 2016, more than 2,000 animals were hit along the Nordland Line, NRK reported.
Several of these animals belonged to Kappfjell in Grane. He was very critical of the fact that there have been no more fences lifted along the railway.
"This happens every year. It is a riddle for me that this is constantly postponed," he said.
Braekkan emphasized concern of the company about doing something to solve the problem.
"However, for the time being, no money has been allocated for the construction of reindeer fences along this stretch," he said.
"It was a nightmare to look at. The worst was to see the animals that did not die after being hit. They lay there and suffered. There were several kilometers of bloodbath, something I will never forget," said Jon Erling Utsi, a documentary filmmaker who filmed the dead animals on Saturday.