Agency demands Norway clean-up crash site

Sweden’s National Property Board (Statens Fastighetsverk, SFV) that owns the land on Kebnekaise where the Norwegian Hercules plane went down in March is demanding that the Swedish government asks Norway clear up the mess caused by the crash.

Agency demands Norway clean-up crash site

“The responsibility for the clearing up of the crash site ought to fall on the owners of the aircraft, in this case the Norwegian state,” the agency wrote in a letter to the ministry of Social Affairs according to newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

The aircraft went missing when it was on its way from Evenes in northern Norway to Kiruna in the far north of Sweden on March 15th.

At the time, the Hercules was participating in the Cold Response military training exercise taking place over northern Norway which was scheduled to run from March 12th to March 21st and included 16,000 soldiers from 15 countries.

Two days later, wreckage as well as body parts from the five deceased crew members, were found on the east and west sides of the Kebnekaise Massive at an altitude of more than 1,500 metres.

The salvage work has taken some time but the area is still in need of a clear-up from debris and other equipment.

Also, despite the fact that quite a large amount of aircraft fuel leaked out over the mountain area, the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) didn’t think that any acute environmental measures had to be taken to clean up the spill at the time.

And after speaking to the Norwegian Armed Forces the agency has concluded that the demand for a Norwegian sanitization project should be addressed to the Norwegian embassy in Stockholm, and needs to come from the Swedish government rather than one of its agencies.

“SFV therefore requests that the government propose to the Norwegian state that they take the necessary steps to sanitize the area of the crash site on Kebnekaise to the purpose of clearing the area of wreckage, equipment and potential environmental hazards,” the agency wrote.

TT/Rebecca Martin

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Tourists to get more help in Swedish mountains

Mountain safety for tourists is set to improve in Sweden, with authorities introducing more signposting and guides in English as rising numbers of foreigners head for the hills.

Tourists to get more help in Swedish mountains
Hikers in northern Sweden. Photo: Fjällsäkerhetsrådet

Around 800,000 people are expected to visit Sweden's mountain areas this season, with up to 20 percent coming from abroad, according to the Mountain Safety Council of Sweden (Fjällsäkerhetsrådet).

Dutch followed by German travellers are set to make up the majority of foreign visitors.

The Mountain Safety Council of Sweden says it is increasing the amount of mountain safety information in English as a result of the influx of travellers.

All shelters in Sweden are set to get guidelines in the global language and will be provided with journals so that visitors can record their names and next planned destinations, to help authorities keep track of tourists who end up getting lost.

Mountain safety officials say the advice for backpackers will include advice on handling the long distances, colder climate and poor cell phone reception that can characterize expeditions in Sweden, where snow remains on the ground in some areas during July and August.

A hike in northern Sweden can include snow even during summer. Photo: Fjällsäkerhetsrådet

READ ALSO: Top five tips for climbing Sweden's Kebnekaise

“Visitors have to be able to choose suitable equipment, the right things to wear and not pack their bags too heavily,” Per-Olov Wikberg, coordinator at the Mountain Safety Council of Sweden tells The Local.

“They also need proper weather forecasts available in English and correct directions in order to follow the tracks…then they’ll be perfectly fine,” he adds.

According to Wikberg, the most popular summer activities in Sweden's mountainous regions include hiking along the Kungsleden track in the far north of the country, biking, and kayaking. Both camping and staying in the area's small hotels are popular.

“I believe people come here to explore the nature that you can’t find in most other parts of Europe,” he says.

“Apart from for example Sweden’s highest peak Kebnekaise, it’s the vastness of the land, peace and quiet as well as the differently challenging tracks that appeal to many.”

Some of the most popular summer hotspots in the mountains include Fulufjället next to eastern Norway, Sånfjället in mid-Sweden, Sarek in the far north and the area around Åre, which is also the country's biggest ski resort in winter.

Research by Elin Jönsson