Police statistics show a decrease in the number of fatalities on Czech roads in 2012. According to data released by the traffic police 679 people were killed on Czech roads in the course of the past year, which is 28 less than in 2011 and 74 less than in 2010. According to the head of traffic police Leoš Tržil the positive trend is being attributed to tougher road regulations introduced two years ago. The most frequent cause of accidents is still speeding and drink-driving.
The health authorities have issued a warning to the public to exercise extreme caution in manipulating with fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Every year at this time dozens of people end up in emergency rooms with serious injuries resulting from mishaps with fireworks. Injuries range from severe burns to loss of limbs, often caused by unsafe or home-made fireworks.
Skiers in the Šumava Mountains will symbolically see the New Year in with a torch ride down one of the mountain’s steepest slopes starting at 5,30 this evening. The night’s celebrations will culminate with an open-air party at the bottom of the slope with bonfires, food, drink, live music and a fireworks display at midnight. This popular tradition dates back to 1948.
A Czech mountaineer who was gravely injured in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps on Sunday remains in critical condition. The mountaineer remained trapped under the snow for close to 30 minutes and was unconscious when rescue workers found him. Although some members of the group dug their own way out after the avalanche hit and managed to rescue three others they had trouble locating the Czech mountaineer. The rescue operation was further complicated due to a poor mobile phone signal in the vicinity.
Czech goalie Petr Čech, who plays for London football club Chelsea, will undergo a scan on Monday to determine the extent of an injury suffered in the club’s match against Everton on Sunday. The goalkeeper played only in the first half after suffering pain in his groin shortly before the break. Chelsea won the game 2-1 and remains in third spot in the Premier League, behind Manchester United and Manchester City.
The Czech junior hockey team won its second straight game at the U20 Championships on Sunday defeating Latvia by a score of 4:2. The game was close throughout: the Czechs twice led by one goal, both times Latvia squared the game. The Czech squad was only able to jump ahead some six minutes from the end of the 3rd period. Three of the team’s goals came on the powerplay. In order to reach the knockout quarterfinals stage the Czechs need – at worst – a draw with Switzerland.
Snow and ice have complicated the situation on roads in parts of the country, namely in the regions of Olomouc, the Czech-Moravian highlands and eastern Bohemia. Central Bohemia by comparison on Sunday saw increased fog. Drivers are advised to exercise maximum caution along smaller routes but also on the country’s main highways, including the D1.
A cross-country skier estimated as being around 50 years of age died on Saturday not far from Horská Kvilda in Šumava. Tourists found the skier unconscious in the snow and called rescue workers to the scene. Despite efforts they were unable, using CPR, to revive the patient. Police are investigating the cause of death.
A 10-year-old skier was seriously injured on an expert run on a hill in the Orlické Mountains and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. Witnesses said the boy lost control and slid on his skis and fell on his side from a height of about 1.5 metres, injuring his pelvis. There is suspicion he also broke his femur. A nurse, who happened to be skiing nearby, provided first-aid before the emergency crew arrived. Pelvic injuries can be life-threatening due to extensive internal bleeding.
Russian investigators are examining evidence from the two black boxes recovered from a Tu-204 jet which crashed during landing in Moscow on Saturday after returning from Pardubice in the Czech Republic. Four people from the eight-person crew died in the crash or shortly afterwards; a fifth person succumbed to injuries on Sunday; three remain in hospital with serious injuries. There were no others on board the medium-sized jet which normally carries up to 210 people. The pilots made several attempts to land before the crash: a faulty braking system may have played a role. During the unsuccessful landing the plane departed the runway and crashed through a barricade separating the airfield from a nearby highway. The plane broke into three parts and burst into flames. A Russian tabloid cited a witness who said the plane had been billowing smoke even before the crash.