The crash site on top of Kebnekaise. (Photo: Forsvaret)
Traces of aviation petrol have been found around the crash site where a Norwegian Hercules transport plane crashed into Sweden’s highest mountain Kebnekaise in March. Investigators continue search for black boxes.
The Hercules C-130J military transport plane with five Norwegian officers on board was on its way from Evenes in northern Norway to Kiruna in the far north of Sweden when it went missing on March 15. The plane was participating in the Cold Response military training exercise. The aircraft was found two days later, on top of Sweden’s highest mountain Kebnekaise.
As a result of the strong crash and the following explosion, the wreckage was scattered over a large area and buried in an avalanche.
The crash site is polluted with some 10.000 liters of petrol. Brooks running down from melting glaciers in the mountain have been found to contain traces of the fuel, Norrländska Socialdemokraten writes.
The level of pollution in the brooks is small and does not constitute any health hazard for humans or animals, but authorities warn people not to melt snow from the glaciers to use as drinking water.
Police, the aircraft accident investigation board and personnel from Norwegian and Swedish armed forces are currently at the crash site, searching for the airplane’s black boxes and remains of the crew. The work on the more than 2000 meters high mountain top is extremely hard and dangerous.
Lieutenant Colonel Truls Audun Ørpen (46), Captain Bjørn Yngvar Haug (40), Captain Siw Robertsen (45), Captain Ståle Garberg (42), and Captain Steinar Utne (35) were killed in the accident.