Top scientist dies on ski trail

It was three hours into the Tartu Marathon when the alarm center received a troubled call: a skier had collapsed on the 35th kilometer of the trail.

Fellow skiers started CPR on University of Tartu human geography professor Rein Ahas (51), but their efforts, those of the emergency response team or even University of Tartu Clinic doctors were not enough. Ahas died in the hospital on Sunday night - writes

Head of the marathon team’s medical service Andres Laugamets said that the first call was placed at 12.03 p.m. and mentioned a collapsed skier on the 35th kilometer. Another call was placed one minute later that reported the location as kilometer 29.

The conflicting information was caused by the fact the trail also shows kilometers separating skiers from the finish line (29 in this case). Medics confirmed the actual location as the 35th kilometer between the Kuutse and Peebu service stations by 12.07 p.m. By then, it was also clear other participants were trying to resuscitate the collapsed man.

Laugamets said that the first snowmobile carrying medics and a defibrillator arrived at the scene 12 minutes after the initial call. A second team arrived four minutes later.

“Unfortunately, it is impossible to ensure a five-minute response time in this crowd, and the snowmobile cannot go 120 kilometers per hour in between skiers,” Laugamets said. He added that the unfortunate incident happened in a difficult location.

The marathon last saw a casualty in 1991. Laugamets has been on the medical team for 20 years and said there is little to be done – things like that happen during major mass sport events. Seldom, but they happen.

Laugamets said that the tragic incident will be followed by a thorough investigation, but also that the general procedure for these kinds of incidents worked. “The teams worked very hard, and the university clinic did everything that could be done to bring him back. Unfortunately, it was not enough,” Laugamets said.

Chief organizer of the Tartu Marathon Indrek Kelk said that the medical teams’ response capacity is a blend of what is possible and what is sensible. “It would be pointless and irrational to set up medical stations every 100 meters. The fact this was the first casualty since 1991 suggests the medical service has done exemplary work. Quite a lot of people have been brought back,” he said. “These kinds of things happen at mass sport events and major rock concerts. It is part of our work to be ready for them.”

Read more news of Tallinn on our site.
scientistdies onskitrail
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...