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Scooter caught up in Swedish traffic death day after launch

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Stockholm (AFP)

A young man died Friday after being hit by a car while riding an electric scooter, police said, just after they were launched in the Swedish city of Helsingborg.

According to Swedish police the 27-year old man was riding a rented scooter in the city centre late Thursday when he was hit by a passing car.

Despite being rushed to a nearby hospital, the victim succumbed to his injuries early the next day, police reported.

The scooter rental operator VOI, which had only begun renting scooters in the southern Swedish city on Wednesday, confirmed that one had been involved in the accident.

"We are fully cooperating with police in the ongoing investigation," the company said in a statement.

Like elsewhere around the world, electric scooters have quickly become popular in Swedish cities.

They have also stirred controversy - seen both as a traffic hazard and nuisance when users leave them carelessly on pavements.

City officials have struggled with how to handle the trendy mode of transportation that depending on its top speed could be considered either a bicycle or a moped in Sweden.

Hans Cassepierre, an expert at Sweden's Transport Agency, told Swedish news agency TT that the dangers of the electric scooters have been apparent for some time.

"Unfortunately we've been waiting for a serious accident, and it is of course especially tragic when someone dies," Cassepierre told TT.

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