Man, 18, dies as glider plane crashes in Sweden

Swedish police were set to decide on Tuesday whether or not to launch an investigation after an 18-year-old man died when a glider plane crashed near Nikkaluokta in northern Sweden.

Man, 18, dies as glider plane crashes in Sweden
A glider aircraft similar to the one pictured crashed in northern Sweden. Photo: Tobias Röstlund/Pressens Bild AB

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The pilot parachuted out after the aircraft suddenly broke apart mid-air and escaped unharmed. He has been quizzed by police, who are at the moment not treating the incident as suspicious, reported regional newspaper NSD.

“One person jumped from the plane and he made it and raised the alarm. He is being looked after and has been taken by terrain scooter to an ambulance,” Eva Nordström, spokeswoman at the Swedish Maritime Administration (Sjöfartsverket), told NSD late on Monday.

A massive search and rescue operation by helicopter and on the ground was launched after the pilot reported the crash at around 5pm on Monday afternoon. At 7.20pm the missing passenger was found dead in the Paltatjåkka area, south of Pirttivuopio airport.

“The man resided in Kiruna. He was found near the scene of the crash, where most of the parts of the aircraft were also found,” police spokesman Börje Öhman told reporters.

“On Tuesday we will issue further information about whether or not the investigation will be continued, after we have been in contact with the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (Haverikommissionen),” he added.

The glider had been taking part in the annual Kebne spring camp at Pirttivuopio, organized by Kiruna glider plane society since 1962. The chairman said on Monday he would discuss ending the camp early after the tragic accident.

“I will talk to the other people in the club and see if we will continue,” Pekka Pannula told NSD.