Oslo: A Norwegian military transport plane with five people on board went missing on Friday during an exercise and was feared to have crashed in northern Sweden, officials said.
   
The C-130 was heading from Evenes in northern Norway to the Swedish city of Kiruna where it was supposed to pick up personnel, the Norwegian Armed Forces said.
   
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it was 80-90 kilometres west of Kiruna, Norwegian military spokesman John Espen Lien said. "We have to assume that we are looking for a plane that has crashed," Lien said.

He said at least four of the five people on board were Norwegians. A search and rescue operation was initiated by rescue services and military units in Sweden and Norway.
   
The plane went missing during a winter exercise called Cold Response in which 16,000 soldiers from 14 countries taking part. The purpose of the Norwegian-led exercise "is to rehearse high intensity operations in winter conditions within NATO with a UN mandate," the country's military said.

(Agencies)