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ACCIDENT

Grenade launcher fired inside soldiers’ barracks

A Swedish military unit has come in for criticism after a number of safety violations were revealed, including a soldier being hit in the head by a grenade shell.

Grenade launcher fired inside soldiers' barracks

Among the significant flaw found at the Swedish army’s armoured regiment P4, in Skövde in southern Sweden, soldiers were also found to have accidentally fired on their own vehicles with live ammo, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported.

Last winter, a grenade launcher was also fired inside the soldiers’ own barracks.

“They were inside their dormitory getting ready for an exercise. Two group members who aren’t educated to use the grenade launcher were interested in trying it. They wanted to learn more,” said captain Mikael Millberg, who investigated the misfire, to SR.

The soldiers’ curiosity led to the launcher going off indoors, causing a hefty bang.

But this isn’t the only report of accidents occurring at P4 recently.

The same regement recently saw a soldier taken to hospital with concussion after getting hit in the head by a grenade shell, as well as a company accidentally firing on their own cars with live ammunition.

A newly introduced administrative system, Prio, is cited as the main reason behind major faults and accidents, according to SR.

Prio has been criticised for forcing platoon commanders to prioritise administrative tasks over leading their soldiers.

“Commanders become too tied to their desks and computers, to work with Prio. It takes up a lot of time if you’re responsible for 30 individuals, which you are as a platoon commander,” said Mikael Millberg to SR.

“The army has to free up the commanders, because it’s incredibly important that they’re with their soldiers, influencing them.”

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ACCIDENT

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.

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