• Norway's news in English
 

Dozens injured at Oslo Bieber show

NTB/The Local · 31 May 2012, 10:15

Published: 31 May 2012 10:15 GMT+02:00

The head of the city’s government, Stian Berger Røsland, said he was terrified of the risk for serious injuries as a crowd made up mostly of young girls thronged outside the opera house to watch the 18-year-old Canadian superstar perform.

At one point earlier in the day, Mayor Fabian Stang was forced to take shelter behind a tree to avoid being crushed by hordes of stampeding girls.

“I have already called on the Emergency Planning Agency to examine the entire event from the planning stage to its implementation. We have to find out what went wrong and why it happened.”

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured when thousands of frantic Justin Bieber fans arrived at the Opera House to watch Justin Bieber perform. Ola Krokan at the Oslo police told news agency NTB that 49 girls had received minor injuries while 14 were taken by ambulance to the emergency services, none of them with serious injuries.

Stian Røsland Berger said he had been fearful that children and young people would be crushed, pass out from dehydration, or tumble into the waters of the adjacent fjord.

“There’s no doubt that last night was a miscalculation – a dramatic miscalculation,” said the head of the city council.

Mayor Fabian Stang was also deeply critical of the organization of Bieber’s promotional visit. Earlier on Wednesday, Stang had been cycling down Stortingsgata when he found himself surrounded by hundreds of so-called Beliebers.

“Suddenly there was a huge bunch of girls running. I was scared and had to hide behind a tree to avoid being trampled. I have a great level understanding for dedication, but right there and then I was very scared,” Stang told VG.

“I was very worried about the young girls. It's not the girls' fault; the responsibility lies with the organizers.”  

Outside the Opera House, some 100 police officers and security guards fought hard to keep control of the masses of screaming teenagers.

“We were very worried,” said Kåre Stølen, the head of Wednesday night’s police operation. “There were a lot more people than we had expected. The ones who didn’t make it in to the area were both angry and disappointed.”

When Bieber had left the stage and thousands of fans streamed away from the area, Stølen reflected on what he viewed as a stressful but successful evening.

“It has gone very well. Now we just have to get everyone home safely,” he told NTB.

Universal's Norway chief Petter Singsaas said company representative had lumps in their throats before and during the event.

Story continues below…

“We never dreamed that this would set off such a major movement of people. I think Bieber’s crew also felt a lot of pressure during the day even though they travel around with him daily and are more used to this kind of attention. There were extreme reactions in the city, and the logistics were complicated.”

Singsaas said he fully understood the concerns people had, not least the parents of Bieber fans, but he also felt Universal had brought joy to many fans on Wednesday evening.

He added that the company had worked closely with the police and security guards throughout, but said he fully expected the mayor and the council chief to call on Universal to explain why the situation had become so chaotic.

Picture special: Fan frenzy as Justin Bieber comes to Oslo

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norwegian who raped Irish woman in sleep faces appeal
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Criminal Courts of Justice

Norwegian who raped Irish woman in sleep faces appeal
12 hours ago

Irish prosecutors are hoping to overturn the suspended jail sentence of a Norwegian man who admitted to raping his Irish girlfriend up to ten times while she slept.

Elderly Norwegians arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
Photo: Colourbox

Elderly Norwegians arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
15 hours ago

A game of bridge had an unexpected ending for 32 club members in Pattaya, including three Norwegian pensioners.

Norway's massive wealth fund drops 73 companies
Demonstrators in Trondheim protest against "an unethical oil fund" in 2015. Photo: Ned Alley / NTB scanpix

Norway's massive wealth fund drops 73 companies
18 hours ago

Norway's huge sovereign wealth fund has sold out of 73 companies last year because their social or environmental policies could hurt profitability.

Norway's windmills smash previous records

Norway's windmills smash previous records
1 day ago

Norwegian windmills produced power like never before in 2015.

Norway top donor at Syria conference
Solberg meets British PM David Cameron at 10 Downing Street prior to the conference. Photo: Anne Marte Vestbakke / NTB scanpix

Norway top donor at Syria conference
1 day ago

Norway on Thursday pledged 10 billion kroner in aid response to the Syrian conflict – one seventh of the entire amount pledged at an international donor's conference.

Statoil cuts investments after heavy 2015 losses
Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Statoil cuts investments after heavy 2015 losses
1 day ago

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has slashed investments and stepped up a cost-cutting programme after recording a huge annual loss for 2015 in the wake of tumbling oil prices.

Russia to Norway: We’ll only take 200 of 5,000 migrants
An estimated 5,500 migrants used the Storskog border crossing in 2015. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Russia to Norway: We’ll only take 200 of 5,000 migrants
2 days ago

... and we'll only take them if you fly them to Moscow.

Norway wants to return minors to Afghanistan
A man walks on a hilltop overlooking Kabul. Photo: Ahmad Masood/Reuters/Scanpix

Norway wants to return minors to Afghanistan
2 days ago

Backing a centre in Kabul would allow Norway to send back underage asylum seekers.

Video
Norway gives new inside look at world’s biggest seed vault
Screenshot: Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Norway gives new inside look at world’s biggest seed vault
2 days ago

New video from the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture tells the story of what has been called Norway’s “gift to the world”.

Norway daycare drops carnival over gender clichés
The daycare said that too many girls came as princesses, while boys opted for superhero costumes. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Norway daycare drops carnival over gender clichés
3 days ago

When girls dress up like princesses and boys don superhero costumes it reinforces gender stereotypes that can harm children, a Trondheim nursery has decided.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Norway police to go back to being unarmed
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
Health
Norway doctors push plan for 'tobacco-free generation'
National
Norway's call to remove crosses causes backlash
Politics
Norway tightens asylum policy to cut numbers
Society
The end of the expat? European cities fight for innovative 'inpats'
Education
Hiker finds 1,200-yr-old Viking sword in Norway
National
Oslo eyes ban on private cars from city centre in green push
Culture
Family shocked as The Scream appears in a freshly sawn plank
National
AS-IT-HAPPENED: Nobel Peace Prize announcement 2015
National
Norway armed forces to get organic underwear
International
Syrians cross Norway's Arctic border on bicycles
Society
Norwegians reveal the (hilariously inaccurate) origins of the Danish language
National
Norway man built secret child's room in cellar
Education
Norway starts school for Vikings
Sport
Sepp Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin
2,209
jobs available