Oslo – the day after the bomb

Yesterday Oslo was hit by an unbelievable tragedy. A large bomb went off just next to the prime ministers office, and a madman went on a killing spree on a youth camp for the Labour party. The city centre looks like a war zone today. The bomb went off only 150 metres from my office.

It looks like close to a 100 people have been killed. It is simply not to believe. Norway is such a small and safe country. But now terror has hit at full force. The bomb went off at around 15.30 on a Friday in the middle of the school holidays. Luckily this meant that less people was at work.

I normally walk past just by where the bomb exploded every day on my way to work. So does many of my colleagues. As far as I can establish none of our employees have been hurt, as many were away on vacation, and the ones who worked left office a little bit early – just minutes before the bomb. I am having a hard time accepting that the victims of the explosion could just as well have been myself or one of my colleagues. If this had been last Friday, and not this Friday I would have been at work, or just about to leave as the bomb went off.

Today most of Oslo city centre is closed off by the army. But the clean up operation is already well on its way, but Oslo is sure to be scarred for a long time. I took this little video snippet today;

It is hard to know what to make of this unfair and devastating event. It seems a single Norwegian madman is behind this attack on our democracy, and not some terrorist group from a far-away land. Some people are calling for the death penalty to be introduced in Norway now. Death seems like an punishment too easy for a person like this. But a Norwegian luxury hotel jail doesn’t seem right either.

I wonder what this will mean for the Norwegian society, but hope that it will make us stronger and more unified. And that we will care less about the petty political discussion about what to do with our oil millions. And I sincerely hope that fear will not prevail so that there will be inflated new security measures. The truth unfortunately is that no type of security will ever keep you safe from this type of event. Only improved intelligence can help. I know that I certainly will not let my life be hampered in any way because of this.

My heart-felt condolences to all those who have been affected by this tragedy.

Lastly, I took some photos going through Oslo today. The sight is not what you usually expect from quiet little Oslo.

[slickr-flickr tag=”osloexpl” type=”gallery”]

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