Flags flew at half-mast at army installations around Norway during the weekend, after a soldier was killed while demonstrating mine-clearing equipment on a shooting range in Northern Norway.
The soldier, 21-year-old Army Sergeant Hågen Skattum from Voss in the mountains of Southern Norway, died from injuries sustained in the explosives accident. It occurred at the Målselv field in Indre Troms on Friday.
“This is a deeply tragic incident, and our thoughts go to his family and his fellow soldiers in the Engineer Battallion at Skjold, stated Army Chief Odin Johannessen. He called it “a terrible day” for the Army when one of its own soldiers is killed during military exercises.
“We can lose them other places when we are in battle, that’s something we can’t always prevent,” Johannessen said, “but this should ever happen during an exercise. This is a terrible day for the Army.”
There were three people at the scene of the explosives accident. The two others with Skattum were not physically injured. Johannesen immediately ordered a halt to all use of the portable mine-clearing equipment that exploded pending results of an investigation into what went wrong.