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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
people
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Programme Planner

£30000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Supply Chain Manager

Not Specified: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's most progressive and innova...

Senior SAP FICO Consultant, £60,000 - £65,000, Manchester

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP FICO Consultant...

Service Desk Analyst - ITIL, Windows, Active Directory

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A world leading brokerage is looking for a...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor