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OFFBEAT

Norway jets break sound barrier, brandy bottle

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.

Norway jets break sound barrier, brandy bottle
Photo: Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix (File)

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.

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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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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