Four U.S. Marines were killed Friday when their Marine MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed in the mountains of Norway during a training exercise, according to Norwegian police.
A Marine official said the Marines were assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing but withheld their names pending notification of their next-of-kin. “The incident is currently under investigation by both Norwegian and U.S. organizations,” said 1st Lt. Jacob Sugg, a Marine spokesman.
According to the Norwegian military, the aircraft was flying north in Nordland on its way to Bodø for a scheduled landing at 6 p.m. local time before it disappeared from radar screens at Saltfjellet, a mountainous region in northern Norway.
After the Osprey was reported missing at 6:26 p.m., the Norwegian military dispatched two rescue helicopters and an Orion long-range surveillance plane to search for the aircraft, according to a Norwegian military statement. “The weather conditions in the area are challenging,” it said, adding that “discoveries were made from the air Gråtådalen in Beiarn” at 9:17 p.m.
“We’ve discovered an aircraft that has crashed. We’ve seen no sign of life,” Nordland police chief of staff Bent Eilertsen told Reuters. Weather and the risk of avalanches hindered aircraft from landing near the site, according to Eilertsen.
“Due to the weather conditions, it was not possible to go down to the site,” the Norwegian military statement said. “Police and rescue crews were on their way into the area at about 10 pm.”
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