Plane crash in Norway: 4 US soldiers killed when military plane crashes in Norway during NATO exercise; unrelated to Ukraine

HELSINKI – Four US soldiers were killed in a plane crash in a Norwegian city in the Arctic Circle during a NATO exercise unrelated to the Ukraine war, Norway’s prime minister said on Saturday.

Jonas Gahr Stoere tweeted that they died in the crash on Friday night. The cause was under investigation, but Norwegian police reported bad weather in the area.

“The soldiers took part in the NATO exercise Cold Response,” said Gahr Stoere. “Our deepest sympathy goes to the families, relatives and comrades of the soldiers in their unit.”

The aircraft was a V-22B Osprey owned by the US Marine Corps, the Norwegian Armed Forces said.

“The aircraft had a crew of four and was on a training mission in Nordland County” in northern Norway, a statement said.

It was en route north to Bodoe, where it was due to land just before 6 p.m. on Friday. The plane crashed at Graetaedalen in Beiarn, south of Bodoe. Police said a search and rescue mission was launched immediately. Police arrived at the scene at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and confirmed the crew of four had died.

“We can confirm that there has been an incident involving a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey aircraft,” the US Marines said in a tweet. “The cause of the incident is being investigated and further details will be provided as they become available.”

The annual NATO exercises in Norway have nothing to do with the war in Ukraine. This year, this includes around 30,000 soldiers, 220 aircraft and 50 ships from 27 countries. Non-NATO members Finland and Sweden are also taking part.

The exercises began on March 14th and will end on April 1st.

No reason was given for the crash, but the Norwegian Armed Forces said Cold Response “will proceed as planned with the measures we have to take based on the weather”.

Police launched an investigation into the crash and accident commission members and police officials were scheduled to arrive at the crash site on Saturday.

“The weather in the area is very poor to complete the work at the scene, but police will resume as soon as weather conditions permit,” Norland Police Borough Chief of Operations Ivar Bo Nilsson told reporters.

Lt-Gen Yngve Odlo, head of the Norwegian Armed Forces’ operational headquarters, said Cold Response was continuing despite the crash.

“Right now the focus is fully on completing the rescue operation, taking care of the people and then there will be a normal process with causality,” Odlo was quoted as saying by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

The first Cold Response exercise was held in 2006 and the exercises have been conducted a total of eight times over the years. They take place in south-east, central and north Norway.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Plane crash in Norway: 4 US soldiers killed when military plane crashes in Norway during NATO exercise; unrelated to Ukraine

Dais Johnston

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