Mayor Sand: The tragedy will affect the Kongsberg community for a long time

Kari Anne Sand - Kongsberg attackPhoto: Terje Bendiksby / NTB
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The murderous attack on Wednesday has shaken Kongsberg. Mayor Kari Anne Sand says that the incident will affect the community for a long time but that the condolences from all over the country mean a lot.

“I think everyone is a bit numb, and the whole thing is a bit unreal,” Kongsberg Mayor Kari Anne Sand (SP) told NTB.

On Thursday, the local community woke up to police roadblocks in the city center and police cars driving around in the narrow streets. In several places, candles have been lit. The church has opened its doors, and the flags are at half-mast.

One of those who took the trip to Kongsberg church to light candles on Thursday was 44-year-old Linda Helena Gustavsson, who has lived in Kongsberg for 20 years.

“It’s a stab in the heart when something like this happens in the city you live in. It is a quiet city otherwise, so it is an extra shock when something like this happens,” Gustavsson told NTB.

“I had been awake last night; I could not sleep, so now I have lit candles for the dead and the injured.”

International attention

Five people were killed on Wednesday night. Two people are hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

A 37-year-old man, a Danish citizen who has lived all his life in Norway, has been arrested. He has acknowledged the circumstances of the case and has been described as cooperative. Much is still unclear, and the police are investigating the case.

The event has attracted a great deal of attention, both nationally and internationally. Mayor Sand has been interviewed by a number of international media, including the BBC. Condolences have flowed in from several Nordic prime ministers and also the UN chief António Guterres.

King Harald has also offered condolences on behalf of the royal family.

“That (message) from the king was very nice. I do not think there was a dry eye in the crisis team when I read out the condolences from the king. Many neighboring municipalities have also been in touch, and all this sympathy is greatly appreciated,” Sand said.

A call from Vedum

The new ministers in the incoming government will occupy their respective offices in Oslo on Thursday. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP) and the new Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl (SP) will be updated on the situation at Kongsberg.

On Thursday, Minister of Finance and SP party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum called Sand.

“We had a long and good conversation; he asked about what he could possibly assist us with. In addition, he provided some comfort and support, which was good for a mayor to hear,” Sand said.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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