Russian tourist dies in Estonia after icicle fall

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A 29-year-old Russian tourist died Wednesday after being hit by an icicle that fell from a building in Estonia's capital Tallinn, health authorities said.

The man, from the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, passed away in the city's main hospital after being seriously hurt in Tallinn's touristy Old Town on January 9, officials said.

There have been a string of injuries, some serious, this winter after unusually heavy snowfalls in the Baltic state followed by a rise in temperatures.

The same day the Russian man was hit, an Estonian television reporter was struck by a one-metre (three-foot) icicle in the Old Town, and only escaped seriously injury thanks to his camera.

Estonian authorities have called on all building owners to clear their roofs regularly, but that has also led to a fatality.

Last week a 26-year-old died in Tallinn after falling 10 metres (33 feet) from a roof while he was removing snow.

The issue of falling icicles has been in the spotlight in Estonia in the wake of a 2010 incident in Saint Petersburg where an Estonian student suffered serious head injuries.

After being treated in the Russian city, she was transferred to Tallinn where doctors gave her no hope of survival, but is now in a clinic in Germany after a charity appeal helped pay for treatment.

© 2011 AFP

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