Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg took control of the situation just minutes after the first bomb blast in Oslo – in his special underground bunker.
“The Prime Minister was very concerned that he had to get an overview of the situation and act calmly. He showed leadership and presence and care to those injured and relatives of dead”, said Sindre Fossum Beyer to Dagens Næringsliv.
On Friday afternoon most of the government had gone home for the weekend. Only the Prime Minister and his personal adviser, Beyer, were in the offices as Anders Behring Breivik’s bomb detonated next door, killing seven. Although Breivik had obtained 3000kg of explosive material, just 1800kg went into the Oslo bombs and the bombs later found on Utoya.
The bomb blast damaged the doors of Oslo Fire Station, reported NRK, which hindered fire crews’ ability to get out and deal with the aftermath.
Security guards immediately ushered Stoltenberg and Beyer into a specially constructed bunker underneath the offices. From here the Prime Minister took control of the situation – just four minutes after the detonation.
After reports began coming in of a gunman on Utoya, it is thought that Labour Party leader Eskil Pedersen would have contacted Stoltenberg and Jonas Gahr Store, the Foreign Minister. Pedersen was reportedly visiting Utoya immediately before the shootings began.
News of the death toll reached the Prime Minister at about 3.30am on Saturday morning, vastly exceeding the expected total. Reports say that Stoltenberg and his staff were stunned into silence.
In today’s preliminary hearing, the judge said that Breivik wanted to cause the biggest possible massacre to stem recruitment to the Labour Party because it had “failed the country”, a possible reference to the Labour Party’s infiltration by the KGB as well as its liberal attitude towards immigration.
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