Rowdy football fans on their way to a match between the Brann football club of Bergen and Vålerenga of Oslo literally sparked drama and despair in downtown Oslo Sunday evening, when pre-match antics went very wrong. One Brann fan ended up being run over by the metro, which then ground the system to a halt.
Oslo police reported that the chaos was sparked when Brann fans ignited flares and smoke bombs both inside and outside the centrally located Nationaltheatret station for the Oslo area’s metro (T-bane) system.
Smoke set off alarms
A police spokesman said Brann supporters were taking the metro to Vålerenga’s stadium on Oslo’s east side. “On their way into the station, some of the fans started lighting flares,” Svein Arild Jørundland of the Oslo Police District told newspaper Aftenposten. “The entire area filled with smoke and the fire alarms were set off.”
Fans proceeded to head down to the metro platform, some fights reportedly broke out and one fan landed on the track in front of a metro train, Jørundland said, describing the situation as “very chaotic.”
One of Aftenposten’s editors who happened to be at the scene also reported that a large group of football fans had started lighting flares outside the station. Another witness told news bureau NTB that one fan leaned against a waiting metro train and then fell down to the tracks. The train took off, unaware of the person on the tracks.
Surveillance video from the scene shows a large group of people on the platform and lots of smoke from the flares. After the metro train had driven off, they discovered the person lying critically injured on the tracks and started calling for help.
Police and emergency crews arrived at the scene quickly, and were met by fans who appeared traumatized, with some crying. The injured fan received emergency first aid at the scene and was rushed to Ullevål University Hospital, where his condition was described as critical.
The Nationaltheatret station was closed, disrupting Sunday evening’s service on all lines because they run through the downtown area. Service resumed shortly after 8pm with some delays throughout the evening.
“This is very sad,” Brann’s head coach Lars Arne Nilsen told TV Norge. “We don’t know much more beyond being told it was an accident.” Brann officials otherwise declined comment but said they were in close contact with police and emergency crews. Vålerenga ended up beating Brann by a score of 2-0 but Brann remains second in Norway’s top league standings, behind Rosenborg of Trondheim. Vålerenga is in seventh place.