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Over 100 reindeer killed in Norway by freight trains in three-day span

STAVANGER, Norway -- A Norwegian reindeer herder says that freight trains have killed more than 100 of the animals on the tracks in three days.

Torstein Appfjell, a distraught reindeer herder in Helgeland county, said Sunday that the worst incident happened Saturday when 65 animals were mowed down.

Appfjell told The Associated Press by telephone it was "totally tragic" and "unprecedented" for so many reindeer to lose their lives this way. A total of 106 reindeer have been killed since Thursday.

Appfjell represents four families in the area with a total of around 2,000 reindeer. He said that in the worst previous 12-month period, 250 animals were killed in train accidents.

VG newspaper reports that Bane NOR, which operates the trains, has now reduced speeds in the area.

Last year, the Norwegian Environment Agency released eerie images showing a jumble of reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau in central Norway. The agency said 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves, in a lightning storm.

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