Below is the blog of the one of the survivors as she recalled her chilling experience in the Norway shooting incident, massacre that killed more than 90 people and left several people wounded.
I condemn, condemn this act of inhumanity! May God bless all the families and friends who suffered because of this incident. After reading her blog, I was really frightened. I can’t imagine that young people will experience this terrifying and traumatic incident because of a crazy man, who thinks he’s fighting for something. And even if he is, let your voice be heard but not through this, no, not like this.
By Prableen Kaur, 23
I woke up. I cannot sleep any more. I’m sitting in the living room. Feeling grief, anger, happiness, God, I do not know what. There are too many emotions. There are too many thoughts. I’m afraid. I react to the slightest sound. I will write about what happened on Utøya.
What my eyes saw, what I felt, and what I did. The words come straight from the gut, but I will anonymize many names out of respect for my friends.
We had a crisis meeting in the main building after the explosions in Oslo. After that there was a meeting for members of Akershus [a county bordering the capital] and Oslo. After the meetings there were many, many people around and inside the main building. We consoled ourselves that we were safe on an island. No one knew that hell would break out with us too.
I was standing in the main street [of the island] when panic broke out. I heard shots. I saw him shoot. Everyone started to run.
The first thought was: “Why are the police shooting us? What the hell? “I ran into a little room. Everyone ran. Screamed. I was scared. I managed to get into one of the rooms at the back of the building. There were many of us in there. We all lay on the floor together. We heard several shots. We became more afraid. I cried. I knew nothing.
I saw my best friend through the window and wondered if I should go outside and bring him to me. I did not. I saw fear in his eyes. We were lying on the floor inside the room for a few minutes. We agreed not to move out in case the killer came.
We heard several shots and decided to jump out the window. Panic broke out among us. Everyone in the room rushed to the window and tried to jump out. I was the last and thought: “I am the last to jump out the window. Now I’m going to die. I’m sure, but it might be okay and then I will know that the others are safe.”
I threw my bag out the window. I tried to climb down, but lost my grip. I landed hard on the left side of my body. A boy helped me up. We ran into the woods. I looked around. “Is he here? Is he shooting me? Can he see me?”
A girl had a broken ankle. Another was severely injured. I tried to help a little bit before I went down to the water.
I sought cover behind a sort of brick wall. There were many of us. I prayed, prayed, prayed. I hope that God saw me. I called Mum and said that it was not certain we would meet again, but that I would do anything to stay safe.
I said several times that I loved her. I heard fear in her voice. She cried. It hurt. I sent a text message to my dad telling him I loved him. I sent a text message to another person I am very, very close to. We had a little contact. I sent a text message to my best friend. He did not answer. We heard several shots.
We were snuggled together. We did everything we could to keep warm. There were so many thoughts. I was so scared. My dad called me. I cried and said I loved him. He said he and my brother would go to welcome me when I reached the mainland, or they would come to the island. There were so many emotions. So many thoughts. I told him everything I could. It took some time. We switched to texting for fear that the killer would hear us.
I thought of my sister who is away. How I would tell her how it went? What happened to me. I updated Twitter and Facebook to say I was still alive and that I was “safe”.
I wrote that I was waiting for the police. People jumped into the water and started swimming. I was lying down. I decided that if he came, I would play dead. I would not run or swim. I cannot describe the fear that took over my mind, what I felt.
A man came. “I’m from the police.” I was lying there. Some shouted back that he had to prove it. I do not remember exactly what he said, but the killer started shooting. He charged. He shot those around me. I was still lying there. I thought: “Now it’s over. He’s here. He’s going to shoot me. I’m going to die.”
People screamed. I heard that others were shot. Others jumped into the water. I was there. Holding the mobile phone in my hand, I lay on top of a girl’s legs. Two others lay on my feet. I was still lying there. The mobile phone rang several times. I was still lying. I played dead. I lay there for at least an hour. It was completely quiet. I gently turned her head to see if I could see someone alive. I looked like around. I saw blood. Fear. I decided to get up. I had been lying on top of a dead body. Two dead bodies lay on me. I had a guardian angel.
I did not know if he would come back again. I did not have the courage to look at all those who had called and texted me. I hurried down to the water. I took off my sweater. It was large. I thought it would be difficult to swim with it. I considered whether I should bring my mobile phone or leave it again.
I put it in my back pocket and jumped into the water. I saw several others in the water. They had swum far. I saw that someone had gathered around a floating lifeboat or something like that.
There were many who followed those who swam out.
I swam, swam, and swam towards the inflatable boat. I screamed, wept. I was calm. I thought of when I would drown. It became harder and harder. I questioned myself. I kept swimming.
My arms were tired. I decided just to use my legs legs to swim.
I sank. I started to swim normally again.
After a little while I thought the group who were clinging on to the dinghy were moving away from me. I screamed. Begged them to wait for me. I must have seen visions. I swam at least a few hundred metres before I reached them.
We talked a little together. Who we were, where we came from. When the boats passed us we started shouting for help, but they picked up the others who were still swimming.
A man in a boat came to us. He threw out several life jackets. I got hold of one. Got it on me. I held on to the dinghy for a long time, until the same man came back to pick us up. We all got into it. He began to head towards the shore. After a little while his boat started to take in water. I did everything I could to get as much water out as possible.
I used a bucket. I was exhausted. Another girl in the boat took over. We reached the shore.
We were given blankets. The tears would not stop. I cried more. A woman hugged me. It was so good. I wept aloud. I sobbed. A man lent me his phone. I called my dad, “I’m alive. I made it. Now I am safe.”
I hung up. Cried more. We had to walk a bit. Completely unknown people took us into their cars and drove us to the Sundvollen hotel. I ran in to see if I could see my best friend.
I could not find him anywhere.
I saw a friend. I cried, loudly. We hugged each other for a long time. It was good. I walked around, looking for friends. My heart pounded. I cried more. I gave my details to the police, then looked through all the lists. I did not know if my best friend was alive. I looked through all the lists. I could not find his name anywhere. I was scared.
I got a duvet. I took off my wet socks. I was half naked. Got a jacket. I tried to phone some people. Contacted my parents again. My dad and brother were on their way to fetch me. I drank some cocoa. I sat down. Thought. Wept. So many friends. I hugged them. Wept.
I borrowed a computer. Updated Facebook and Twitter again to say that I was safe. I was at the hotel for several hours before my family came.
I looked for familiar sights. I talked to a priest. I told them everything I had seen. It was a good conversation. A man from the Red Cross saw all my wounds. Cleaned them.
Time passed. I was with some of my friends. We all talked about the same things: how we survived and what had happened. I asked several if they had seen my best friend. No one had seen him. I was scared. I thought that it was my fault because we had not managed to stay together.
A friend got the key to a hotel room. We sat there, looked at the news. There was anger, sorrow, so many emotions. My dad called, they had come. I took the elevator down. Ran out to them. Hugged my brother and my dad a long time. I wept aloud. My brother was crying too. It was a good moment.
I saw a boy who looked like my best friend. I shouted his name. He turned around. It was him. We hugged each other for a long time . Both crying, we asked each other how we had managed.
After a while, I spoke again to the police and we drove home. Someone else came with us. My best friend was with me. His brother had brought his best friend.
Several people had gathered at my home. They would not leave until they had seen that I was fine. We talked a little bit. I drank juice. Ate a yogurt. Talked some more with my mum and my family. I called my best friend. It was a good conversation.
She said: “I was not sure if I would ever get this phone call.” Tears started again. We talked a little bit. After that I lay down. It was 3am. Mum refused to let me sleep alone, so we slept together.
It has now been several hours since all this happened. I’m still in shock. Everything has not fallen into place.
I have seen the corpses of my friends. Several of my friends are missing. I am glad that I can swim. I am glad that I am alive. God watched over me. There are so many emotions, so many thoughts. I think of all my family. Of all I lost. Of the hell that is – and was – on the island.
This summer’s most beautiful fairy tale is transformed into Norway’s worst nightmare.