Hercules crash site in pictures

The Norwegian Armed Forces have released images from the search for survivors at the site where a Norwegian Hercules military transport plane with five people on board crashed into the top of Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise, on Thursday.

Hercules crash site in pictures
Image: Norwegian Armed Forces

The crashed plane, the last of four new C-130J Hercules, named Siv, after arrival at Gardermoen military airport in June 2010. The plane is thought to have smashed into the western face of the mountaintop. Investigators do not yet know why the plane lost altitude and crashed.

The Swedish hunter battalion searches for the Norwegian Hercules at Mount Kebnekaise, some 150 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.

Search teams have grappled with difficult weather conditions since the plane disappeared from radar coverage at around 2.40pm on Thursday.

The avalanche risk is high at Mount Kebnekaise, with four snow-slides recorded on the mountain in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A Swedish rescue helicopter participating in the search for the missing aircraft and its crew. Swedish rescue team from the Home Guard joins the search.

A mountain rescue worker from the Home Guard.

Image from the P-3C Orion, the Norwegian rescue plane that located the wreck.

A simulator-generated image from the P-3C Orion shows the crash site.

The five missing officers: Truls Audun Ørpen, Siw Robertsen, Bjørn Yngvar Haug, Ståle Garberg, Steinar Utne

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Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.