A Norwegian fighter jet accidentally opened fire on a control tower during a training exercise, with three people inside the structure miraculously unhurt by the accidental attack.

The country's air force confirmed, on 24 April, that the incident had seen one of two F-16s, both out on a practice run, mistake the lookout tower for a simulated target, launching a machine gun attack with an M61 Vulcan, which can fire up to 100 rounds per minute.

The tower was damaged in the attack, but the people working inside were unharmed by the gunfire, Air Force spokesman Maj. Stian Roen told AP, also confirming that a similar mistake had happened earlier in the same month on 13 April.

The same tower, situated off Norway's western coast on the island of Tarva, had been fired on by members of the Norwegian military in F-16 fighter planes in a similar incident dating back to 2009 – but once again, no one was injured in the attack, although people were working in the tower at the time of the accident.

The military has not released the name of the pilot involved in the incident, but did say something had gone wrong when the plane shot at the tower rather than the intended simulated target, which was around 500 metres away from the aircraft.

An investigation into the mistake attack has been launched.