Utøya youths pressed together in survival attempts / News / The Foreigner

Utøya youths pressed together in survival attempts. Several survivors from Utøya say they huddled together trying to escape Anders Behring Breivik’s shooting spree. The island was opened for the Press yesterday. Approximately 170 Norwegian and international journalists were present. According to Aftenposten, conversations on the boat grew silent as the MS 'Thorbjørn' ferry, the same one that carried Breivik, approached the island on its 600-metre journey.

utoeyashootings, andersbehringbreivik, survivormemories



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Utøya youths pressed together in survival attempts

Published on Tuesday, 4th October, 2011 at 13:29 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Several survivors from Utøya say they huddled together trying to escape Anders Behring Breivik’s shooting spree.

Utøya in the sunset
Utøya in the sunset
Photo: Henrik Lied, NRK/Flickr


The island was opened for the Press yesterday. Approximately 170 Norwegian and international journalists were present.

According to Aftenposten, conversations on the boat grew silent as the MS 'Thorbjørn' ferry, the same one that carried Breivik, approached the island on its 600-metre journey.

Journalist Kjetil S. Østli writes, “Everyone turned in synchrony towards the island. An AUF (Labour Youth Movement) flag hangs. It was here he [Breivik] went ashore at 17:08 on 22 July. This is where they ran, fell, whilst the most cowardly of them all who was uniformed in the symbol of safety lured them out, and forced them down.”

21-year-old Nicoline Bjerge Schie tells Dagbladet that, “Everyone around me began running as Breivik approached us from the camping ground. I ran with the flock but saw a person I knew had been to Utøya many times, and thought he probably knew the island well,” Both squeezed into a tiny mountainside crack big enough for approximately one person, but were joined by 13 others in a very short space of time.

“More and more people just continued coming down the embankment, there just wasn’t room. Several slid down to the water, or simply stayed there without good cover. I have visited Utøya since, and couldn’t manage going down to the rock shelf, it was that steep,” she continues.

As the mass murderer continued shooting from above, not able to see Nicoline beneath his feet, she says, “I was scared but not as scared as I should have been. I didn’t imagine the scope of how many were killed there and then.”

Another survivor, 19-year-old Marta Hofsøy, was washing pots up in the café’s kitchen with Oslo and Akershus Labour Youth (AUF) delegates gathered in the dining room. Describing her escape route to Nordlys and Dagbladet, she says that she just heard the screams, not the shots, and ran into an anteroom.

“It was quite cramped as we were perhaps 20 people in there”, she says, recounting how she ran from there and out of the building via the kitchen door. “I have subsequently heard that Breivik entered the small room at about the same time.”

Over 20 hid by the Pump House (Pumpehuset) located by the water. Breivik, who was dressed in a police uniform, lured his victims by shouting, “come here”, and they were unsure if the police officer coming towards them was Breivik or not.

Ms Hofsøy says that just before he started shooting, Breivik shouted he was from the police, claiming they could escape from the island in a boat he had if they came out of hiding.

“One can see bullet holes in the walls of the small Pump House. A high rock stands three metres away at the water’s edge. Several youths huddled together behind it whilst they heard 13 being killed in turn,” writes Aftenposten’s journalist.

19-year-old Marte Hofsøy recounts she swam with many others trying to escape, as the shooter who stood calmly at the water’s edge.

“I don’t think he said anything. I was never hit, but the person behind me died.”

AUF leader Eskil Pedersen tells Dagsavisen the café will now probably be torn down, as there are too many painful memories.

“A faded placard hangs in the abandoned kiosk: Utøya. Welcome to The Island. The Nordic Paradise. Who can recreate that?” Kjetil S. Østli writes.



Published on Tuesday, 4th October, 2011 at 13:29 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: utoeyashootings, andersbehringbreivik, survivormemories.





  
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