Soldier killed in avalanche on Kebnekaise

One person died in the avalanche that was triggered in Kebnekaise during Tuesday morning.

A soldier from K 4 in Arvidsjaur has died in the avalanche at Kebnekaise.

A soldier from K 4 in Arvidsjaur has died in the avalanche at Kebnekaise.

Foto: Stian Lysberg

Kiruna2023-02-22 10:17

It was 11:30 am on Tuesday when the alarm came that an avalanche had been triggered on the south slope of Kebnekaise. A military exercise was taking place in the area and a male soldier belonging to Norrland's dragoon regiment K 4 was dragged into the avalanche and died. 

The Norrland Dragoon Regiment, also known as K4, is a Swedish Army unit specialized in arctic warfare and special operations.

–It is a tragedy and the whole regiment is in shock right now. We have deployed crisis support and will support all those affected and their relatives, says Ida Folkesson, head of communications at K4.

The deceased soldier was employed at K4 in Arvidsjaur.

–We can confirm that it is a man, but at the moment we cannot give out more information, says Folkesson.

Mountain rescuers were called out to search the area with the help of dogs. Helicopters from the JRCC (Sea and Air Rescue Center) also took part in the search.

The soldiers who took part in the exercise were spread across different places in the area and were able to start the search as soon as the avalanche had finished.

–The soldiers who were at the site to practice are specially trained to operate in mountainous terrain and were therefore able to start a search and rescue work immediately, says Folkesson.

At 1:45 p.m., the police reported that a person had been found in the avalanche, a soldier from K4. The soldier was taken by helicopter to Norway for treatment, but his life could not be saved.

–We were there in the area practicing when an avalanche was triggered and unfortunately one of our soldiers was dragged into the avalanche, says Folkesson.

K4 has established crisis management and is now focusing on taking care of relatives, staff at the unit, and supporting the police in their investigative work.