STOCKHOLM (AP) — Rescuers have found the wreckage of a Norwegian military plane that crashed with five people on board during an exercise in northern Sweden, officials said Saturday.
Parts of the C-130 cargo aircraft were found scattered over a glacier on mount Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest mountain, rescue spokesman Mathias Hansson told The Associated Press.
Four men and one woman — all Norwegians — were on board the plane heading from Evenes, on Norway’s Arctic coast, to the Swedish city of Kiruna when it disappeared from radar screens just before 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) Thursday over the mountain range.
Hansson said the crew had not been found, but “there is nothing that indicates” they had survived the crash.
“There are a lot of wreckage parts spread out over a large area. It suggests it was a major impact,” Hansson said.
The plane was participating in a Norwegian-led military exercise with 16,000 soldiers from 14 countries taking part. Rescue helicopters and military aircraft taking part in the drill searched the mountainous area about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Kiruna but were hampered by poor visibility brought on by low clouds, snow and strong winds.
Rescuers searching the area around Kebnekaise on the ground found some small debris Friday, but couldn’t confirm whether it came from the missing plane. The wreckage parts were found on other side of the mountain early Saturday, on Rabots glacier, Hansson said, adding that “there is no doubt” that those parts belonged to the missing C-130.
Kebnekaise is Sweden’s highest mountain, more than 2,100 meters (6,680 feet) above sea level.
The Norwegian Armed Forces identified the crew as Lt. Col. Truls Oerpen, 46; Capt. Staale Garberg, 42; Capt. Bjoern Yngvar Haug, 40; Capt. Steinar Utne, 35; and Capt. Siw Robertsen, 45.
Associated Press writer Louise Nordstrom contributed to this report.