Fatal accident during exercise Northern Wind

At 00.55 a.m. on 25 March, a serious accident occurred during exercise Northern Wind in eastern Norrbotten in northern Sweden. One person has been confirmed dead after having been hit by a combat vehicle 90. No other personal injuries have been reported.

Combat vehicle 90. Photo: Mats Carlsson/Försvarsmakten

Only Swedish personnel were involved in the accident, which occurred near Överkalix. The Armed Forces’ medical resources intervened directly on location and ambulance and police were called upon. 

Crisis support was established and the involved personnel were taken care of.

The deceased is a woman from the county of Jämtland, born in 1977, serving in the 145th Home Guard Intelligence Company. Her relatives have been informed of the accident.

- The worst has occurred. A comrade in the Armed Forces has had to pay with her life. My thoughts go to her family and friends in the unit, says the exercise commander, Colonel Stefan Smedman.

The accident will now be investigated by the Police Authority and the Armed Forces. Also the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority is considering investigation of the incident.

COURSE OF EVENTS

In the early hours of 25 March, a reconnaissance platoon from a mechanised battalion of the Norrbotten Regiment I19 in Boden, was advancing west of the E10 road near Överkalix, in order to drop reconnaissance groups. The platoon was engaged by an opponent and started backing away from the clash, for one kilometre along the road. The head of the platoon then decided to approach a communications point, slowly advancing towards a group of pine trees, approximately 80-100 metres north of the road.

Just before the platoon reached the group of trees, the crew opened the vehicle hatches to get a clearer view of the terrain, while slowly advancing. In this group of trees, a reconnaissance group from the Home Guard had established a well-hidden observation post to observe the opponent. When the reconnaissance platoon from the mechanised battalion entered the group of trees, they heard shouting from one of the soldiers at the observation post. At this point, the platoon realised that something had happened. They discovered that the combat vehicle was located on top of a tent, and as the situation dawned upon them, they immediately called the national emergency service, SOS Alarm, and military medical resources.

The medical resources immediately took care of potentially hurt soldiers, and a female soldier was found to be seriously injured. The woman was pronounced dead by a doctor on location at 01.30 a.m.