A freak change of wind direction and bad timing resulted in one of Strokkur’s eruption scalding two children.
Pétur Reynisson, who was visiting the site with his two children, captured the moment on video.
“Normally this is safe to watch but this day it was very windy and because of a sudden burst of wind and change of direction, the boiling water from the geysir was blown over the safety area and landed on a group of tourists and us,” he wrote in the video description. “2 of our kids, 6 and 11 years old got first and second degree burn wounds and needed to go to hospital. You can hear our daughter cry in pain because of the boiling water that hit her. In hindsight I have come to the conclusion that this is a very serious safety issue that need to be addressed and taken seriously by the operators/owners in Haukadal that are responsible for tourists and guests. This was apparently not the first time this happened.”
Garðar Eiríksson, a spokesperson for the landowners of the site, told Vísir that events such as this are very rare, but put the blame on the Icelandic government for the lack of precautionary measures.
“We have emphasised that we want safety measures taken in the area that are in keeping with the increase of visitors,” he told reporters. “The minority owners – that is, the Icelandic government – do not agree with us. As long as we are not granted more funding, we cannot improve the situation.”
The children are reportedly doing well, and Pétur expressed his gratitude for how the locals responded.
“I want to praise and thank the staff in Geysir souvenir shop that took immediate action and to the incredible swift response from the response medic team in the area that arrived only few minutes later, the ambulance team from the nearest hospital in Selfoss and to the helicopter team from the coast guard that happened to be in the area,” he wrote. “They decided to land and fly our kids to a hospital in Reykjavik. The police also arrived very quickly.”
You can see the event take place in the video below.
Book your day tours in Iceland right here with us!