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Norway jets break sound barrier, brandy bottle

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Photo: Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix (File)
10:54 CET+01:00
Ørjan Nicolaisen, 21, spent Wednesday morning cleaning up the mess after a pair of supersonic fighter jets threw his home into disarray in the far north of Norway.

In Lakselv, 1,800 kilometres north of Oslo, residents first heard two massive roars followed by the sound of jet engines as two Norwegian air force F-16 fighters sped towards the Russian border.

“I was sitting on the sofa having a doze. Suddenly I heard two big booms and the whole house shook,” Nicolaisen told local newspaper Finnmark Dagblad.

“The booms caused pictures to fall from the wall; glasses fell to the floor from the kitchen counter; vases fell off the shelves, and the cognac, which I got as a moving-in present, broke into a thousand pieces on the living room floor.”

Nicolaisen’s initial reaction was to wonder if the air force had accidentally dropped a bomb near the town of just over 2,000 people.

Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel John Espen Lien confirmed that the jets had broken the speed of sound.

“The booms could probably be heard in large parts of the Finnmark region. The fighter jets were in quite a hurry and were given permission to fly at supersonic speeds. They were flying at an altitude of 32,000 feet, which is above the minimum limit for supersonic speeds,” he told Finnmark Dagblad.

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The twin jets had earlier departed from Bodø, 1,000 kilometres south of Lakselv, and were on a mission to identify Russian planes flying along the border between the two countries.

Lien said Nicolaisen was welcome to contact the Norwegian Armed Forces if he wished to be compensated for the broken brandy bottle or any other damages.

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