Two dead when public building's roof collapses in Norway

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The Independent Online

The roof of a public building collapsed Saturday on some 60 soldiers during a multinational exercise in northern Norway, killing at least two people person and injuring seven, police and military officials said.

The roof of a public building collapsed Saturday on some 60 soldiers during a multinational exercise in northern Norway, killing at least two people person and injuring seven, police and military officials said.

Police said at least two soldiers were missing.

As many as 60 people had been inside, military officials said. It was not clear how many soldiers, most of whom were Norwegian, had left the building.

The community house in the town of Bardufoss, 1,206 kilometers (750 miles) north of Oslo, was being used by Norwegian troops as a command center during the 12-nation Joint Winter 2000 military exercise. The roof apparently collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.

"There are intense rescue efforts under way," said Terje Myklevold, a spokesman for the exercise. Some of the injured had been brought out of the building and some made it out on their own.

Crews were clearing wreckage and snow in an effort to see if more people were trapped or injured.

The exercise, set up by Norway, included troops from the United States, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Britain, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

No non-Norwegian troops were known to be among the dead or missing, although police did immediately release not have a list of names or nationalities.

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