A U.S. military plane carrying four people crashed in northern Norway on Friday. Officials said they found “no signs of life” after reaching the crash site hours later.
The U.S. Marines confirmed the crash in a statement on Twitter early Friday evening.
“We can confirm an incident has occurred involving a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey aircraft. The aircraft was conducting training in Norway as part of Exercise COLD RESPONSE 22 at the time of the incident,” the statement said.
“The cause of the incident is under investigation, and additional details will be provided as available,” the statement added.
Chief of staff of Nordland police, Bent Arne Eilertsen, told local NRK media outlet, “We see no signs of life either in or around the plane.”
The II Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement to American Military News, “Norwegian civil authorities are leading the search and rescue efforts at this time. We are grateful for their efforts and will assist them in the search and rescue in all manners possible.”
Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) said officials launched a search when a U.S. Osprey aircraft was reported missing at 6:26 pm local time (1:26 pm EST) south of Bodø. The aircraft was determined to be missing when it missed its expected landing time a half hour prior.
Two rescue helicopters and an Orion aircraft were deployed to search for the Osprey, and at approximately 9:17 pm local time (4:17 pm EST), crews discovered the crashed Osprey.
“Due to the weather conditions, it was not possible to go down to the site,” the statement said, according to a translation.
Rescue crews were deployed to the crash site.
The conditions of the four passengers, including their national affiliation, was not yet available.
U.S. military personnel and assets are in Norway for Exercise Cold Response 2022, an annual exercise involving 30,000 troops from more than 27 North American and European nations.
The exercise is held annually in March and extends into April, and is intended for allied nations to practice operational capabilities in cold weather land, air, and sea formats.
U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing have been photographed flying “around the clock” during the exercise, according to photos released to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 (VMM-261) is based at Marine Corps Air Station New River in New River, N.C.