Norway massacre: 'We are still in shock. It was a worst nightmare that won't go away'

Tales of terror emerge from Norway's paradise lost as the country confronts the enormity of its trauma

Norway's Utoya island is a children's paradise of secret rock-fringed coves, towering pines and little sunlit meadows carpeted with wild flowers. It could have been lifted straight from the pages of Arthur Ransome's classic adventure story Swallows and Amazons.

But the idyllic islet lying in the middle of Norway's Tyrifjorden remained sealed off by police yesterday as rescue workers in a boat equipped with a special glass-bottomed container scoured the fjord for the last missing victims of the most devastating massacre the country has witnessed since the Second World War. They gave up their search on the island itself, concluding that there was no one there left to find.

Utoya has been a romantic summer holiday camp for young members of Norway's governing Labour Party for decades. It even boasts a "love path". "The smell of a bonfire, the sound of acoustic guitars and harmonicas, chatting, laughing and banter at 4am will stay with me as immensely precious teenage memories for the rest of my life," wrote Frode Berge, a regional Labour leader, earlier this week.

Since last Friday, Utoya has become a name synonymous with cold-blooded mass murder and death: "This place is where I try to enjoy the summer," said Knut Aidsaa, a caravan camper at the Utviken campsite, which overlooks the island. "Now, every time I look across, I feel both immensely sad and sickened. I can't get what happened out of my head."

Utoya is a paradise lost. A lone rock facing the island was yesterday carpeted with flowers, cuddly toys and sputtering candles in jars commemorating the 68 teenagers gunned down by their country's now most infamous killer: Anders Breivik, 32, a Muslim-hating middle-class Norwegian, who detested the liberal Labour Party for its tolerance towards immigrants and took out his loathing on its youthful members.

The enormity of Mr Breivik's crime has been emerging in the aftermath of the massacre as police release the names of the victims. Survivors who narrowly escaped the killer's salvos have given chilling accounts of the ordeal they endured. One of the most harrowing is that of Emma Martinovic, an 18-year-old party youth member who, wounded by Mr Breivik's bullets, managed to swim to safety as friends were slaughtered in a hail of gunfire.

"I caught sight of the bastard. He was standing there in a police uniform. He had blonde hair, fair skin and a police cap on his head and I saw his weapons," she wrote in her blog. "It looked as if he was aiming at us. Poff! one of the swimmers was shot, I saw the blood stream out so I started to swim even faster."

Ms Martinovic turned to look back at the island and saw Mr Breivik taking aim at her friends, who were undressing and trying to get into the water: "I saw one of my friends about to leap into the water, but in a second he was shot. Even at a distance I could see and hear the two shots, straight to the head. I saw his head explode. I saw how he was split apart. Panic spread like wildfire."

Gun Siri, who works at the Utviken campsite, recalled yesterday how staff wrapped Mr Breivik's traumatised victims in blankets and gave them hot drinks as they waited for ambulances to arrive. "We are still in a state of shock. It was a worst nightmare which won't go away," she said.

Meanwhile, police said yesterday they planned to interrogate Mr Breivik for a second time today as Tor-Aksel Busch, Oslo's chief state prosecutor, announced that, because of the amount of evidence his office needed to collate, his trial would not be held until next year. "Out of respect for those killed, he will be called to account for every single death," he said. Prosecutors are considering charging Mr Breivik with committing "crimes against humanity".

Unconfirmed reports yesterday said that Mr Breivik threw his murder weapon to the ground, put his hands up and proclaimed "now I am done" to police when they finally arrived at Utoya last Friday and arrested him, more than an hour after he began the massacre. Police were reported to have said that Mr Breivik "talked like a waterfall" as he was being taken to police headquarters in Olso after the attack.

Morrissey on the massacre

Morrissey, the former Smiths frontman, who is no stranger to controversy, has reportedly compared the massacre in Norway to the fast-food industry, saying the attacks in which 76 people died were "nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's" and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The singer made the comments during a gig in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday night. The Daily Mirror reported that Morrissey told the audience: "We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown... Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried shit every day." The vegetarian and animal rights activist then launched into a rendition of the Smiths song "Meat Is Murder".

Last year, when criticising China's animal welfare policies, he referred to the Chinese as a "subspecies". He has also been accused of making inflammatory remarks about immigrants in Britain.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)