UPDATED: Police in Northern Norway confirmed Thursday afternoon that US authorities will now assume responsibility for the investigation into the crash last weekend of an American Osprey military aircraft in the mountains southeast of Bodø. The aircraft was taking part in NATO’s winter exercises in the area.
Government attorneys in Nordland approved the transfer of authority from Norwegian officials, based on an agreement Norway signed in 1951. It regulates visiting military forces’ legal rights when they arrive in a NATO country, and allows, in this case, American officials to have jurisdiction over local officials. Norwegian police will, however, still have a role in the investigation, not least to support the American probe.
Norwegian journalists, meanwhile, were disappointed because the Americans weren’t allowing any media access to the crash site even though it’s otherwise Norwegian land open to the public. There are therefore no photos from the scene of the fatal accident, other than one from Norwegian police that merely show some damaged trees.
Investigators traveled back into the crash site in the remote Gråtådalen area of Beiarn on Thursday. It’s characterized by steep gorges and difficult to reach. The crash occurred during a winter storm last Friday evening. Four US Marines were killed in the accident and their bodies were recovered on Sunday.