Four US soldiers have been killed in a plane crash during a NATO military exercise in Norway, the country's prime minister has said.
Norway's Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre has expressed his "deepest sympathies" to the families and colleagues of the four military personnel who lost their lives on Friday after the MV-22B Osprey belonging to the US Marine Corps crashed in a remote region.
Rescue services managed to reach the crash site by land early on Saturday after helicopters failed to land due to poor weather conditions - according to local weather forecasts, there were gale-force winds, heavy rain, and the risk of avalanches.
Mr Støre said on Twitter: "It is with great sadness we have received the message that four American soldiers died in a plane crash last night.
"The soldiers participated in the NATO exercise Cold Response.
"Our deepest sympathies go to the soldiers' families, relatives, and fellow soldiers in their unit."
Authorities have now launched an investigation in an attempt to uncover what led to the fatal crash but so far it has been hampered by the bad weather in the area.
A search operation was launched when the aircraft failed to arrive at the Arctic Circle municipality of Bodø.
There are currently around 30,000 troops from 27 countries involved in Cold Response, an exercise designed to prepare NATO member countries for the defence of Norway, should it be required.
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