US military aircraft with four on board crashes in Arctic Norway

The status of those aboard the aircraft wasn't immediately known.

By Gwladys Fouche, Reuters, Terje Solsvik, Reuters - March 18, 2022
U.S. Marines prepare to take off in a MV-22B Osprey at Norwegian Air Force Base Bodø during Exercise Cold Response 22 on March 16, 2022. A aircraft of the same type crashed Friday during the exercises, Norwegian emergency officials said. (Elias E. Pimentel III / U.S. Marine Corps)

UPDATE: All four people aboard the aircraft were killed in the crash, local authorities said Saturday.

OSLO — A U.S. military aircraft with four people on board has crashed in northern Norway, local police and the country’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centers (JRCC) said on Friday.

The MV-22B Osprey aircraft belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps was taking part in a NATO military exercise called Cold Response when it was reported missing at 1826 CET (1726 GMT), the JRCC said.

[NATO Arctic exercises get under way in Norway]

A rescue helicopter and a Norwegian military Orion plane searching the area spotted the wreckage from the air at 2017 GMT after receiving an emergency signal.

“We’ve discovered an aircraft that has crashed. We’ve seen no sign of life,” Nordland police chief of staff Bent Eilertsen told Reuters.

“We’ve been told it’s an American aircraft with four Americans on board,” he said.

Because of the bad weather, the rescue aircraft could not land. Instead, police and rescue services were trying to reach the site by land, but it was unclear how long this could take.

“It’s dark, the weather conditions are bad and there is a risk of avalanches,” Eilertsen said.

The plane was on a training exercise and had been due to land at around 1800 CET (1700 GMT). Weather was bad in the area, with conditions worsening.

This story has been updated.