Sweden: Surface-to-air missile goes astray

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Nando Times

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (May 30, 2001 03:48 p.m. EDT) - A surface-to-air missile with a live warhead was found Wednesday shortly after it disappeared during a practice launch, according to Swedish military officials.

No injuries or damage were reported.

The missile malfunctioned after it was fired at the Vaeddoe test range during a military exercise, suddenly changing course and diving into the water. It emerged seconds later and disappeared in the air, defense authorities said in a statement.

The errant missile was discovered on an island less than 20 miles from the test range after an extensive, four-hour helicopter search. It did not explode on impact.

No explanation for the malfunction was given in the statement, but military spokesman Ulf Eriksson said earlier the mishap would be investigated.

The test range was some 45 miles northwest of the capital, Stockholm.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), May 30, 2001

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