Snow-trapped man survives two months in car
Published 20/02/2012 | 05:00
A Swedish man survived for more than two months in a snow-covered car in temperatures as low as -22F (-30C) thanks to an "igloo effect".
Peter Skyllberg (44), was found on Friday near the northern town of Umea, just south of the Arctic Circle. He had been snowed into his car since December.
Doctors said outside temperatures had been below -22F, but air trapped around the vehicle had formed a natural igloo.
"It's not possible for humans to hibernate like a bear does," said Dr Ulf Segerberg, the chief medical officer at Norrland's University Hospital, Umea. "If you cool the body, of course the metabolism slows down, but I don't think he would have survived if that had happened.
"In the car he had very warm clothes, he had a warm sleeping bag and, as the car was snowed under, that would have made it more like an igloo. Down below the snow, you would normally have a temperature of around zero."
Dr Segerberg said it was not unusual for someone to survive such a period of starvation if they have access to water. He estimated that Mr Skyllberg, who reportedly ate a lot of snow during his ordeal, could have lost more than three stone. He said it was rare for someone to survive for so long outside in the Swedish winter.
Mr Skyllberg has declined all requests for interviews.
He has been moved into an ordinary hospital ward and is likely to be released within days.
Mr Skyllberg's neighbour said he was a loner who disappeared after a failed business left him in debt.
Last year a court ordered that Mr Skyllberg's properties be seized after he was unable to pay debts of €180,000. He had also separated from his girlfriend. (© Daily Telegraph, London)