Memorial service for Beate, Nikolai, and Frode packs Frogner kirke
Family and friends mourns the deaths of Beate Tangstrøm Rutledal, Nikolai Bleness, Frode André Bjørkli after a fatal helicopter accident outside of Horten
“You represented light, song, joy, and laughter,” said TV host Trond Myhre, who was in the second helicopter on the way to Oslo. The fatal helicopter accident on Jan. 27 claimed the lives of three colleagues from the event-planning company Trond&Trond and the pilot.
Myhre and four employees of Trond&Trond were in a meeting in Melsovik. Around 2 p.m., one of the two helicopters crashed through the ice outside of Horten.
Nikolai Bleness (41), Frode André Bjørkli (28), Beate Tangstrøm Rutledal (28), and pilot Haakon Bergerud (34) died in the accident.
The memorial service was filled with song by the congregation.
“This is one of the strongest feelings I have had in a church. It was a fantastic celebration,” said Dag Erik Pedersen.
“It was fantastic to remember their spirit,” said Tommy Steine and Guri Schanke to Dagbladet afterwards.
Myhre and a fourth employee were in a second helicopter behind the helicopter crash, and witnessed the accident.
“We are gathered, friends and family, in bottomless despair and sorrow. You were so young, but in this short time, you managed to give so much,” said Myhre.
The national Accident Investigation board has not concluded what caused the accident. The day after the accident, the helicopter was raised from 15 meters in the icy water.
Witnesses and preliminary investigations indicate the helicopter began to spin in the air, lost altitude, hit the ice with the rotor blades, and sank to the bottom.
“What we have seen so far is that the wreck has a lot of damage, which is expected for an accident like this. There must have been some speed to create such extensive damage, but I cannot say anything more specific about the speed yet,” said investigator Tor Nøstegård to Dagbladet.
Several investigators consider it very likely that all victims died instantly on impact with the ice, but emphasize they cannot draw a conclusion yet.