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Soldier dead after armoured vehicle falls through ice

Published måndag 27 mars kl 09.43
An armoured vehicle
"Bärgningsbandvagn 90," the same type of armoured vehicle that sank through the ice in Boden. Credit: Daniel Klintholm/Swedish Armed Forces

A 23-year-old soldier has been killed in northern Sweden after his armoured vehicle crashed through the ice during a military exercise.

The tank-tracked armoured vehicle sank into icy waters at around 10.30pm during the Vintersol, or Winter Sun, military exercise outside Boden. 

The commander of the vehicle managed to crawl out of the vehicle but the driver was unable to break himself free.

"He was stuck," Michael Frisell, head of the Boden regiment, said in a press conference on Monday morning. He added:

We had member of staff who attempted to get the individual out. The personnel have made heroic efforts. They did all they could."

Frisell said that it was against safety rules for armoured vehicles to drive on swampy ground or wet ice, and that the regiment would later investigate why the vehicle had not followed the guidelines.

"For now the work will focus on taking taking care of personnel and their relatives," he said.

It was also unclear, he said, why the vehicle did not have air bags to prevent it sinking into water.

"I expect that will be one of the questions that is asked during the inquiry," Fridell said.

He said that the accident had created a "stressed atmosphere" in the regiment.

"It's a grim day for everyone who works in the 19 regiment and in the Armed Forces," he said.

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