Some of the Norwegians partying in an abandoned underground civil defense shelter last weekend have been left with brain damage, caused by the carbon monoxide they inhaled. Justice Minister Monica Mæland strongly appealed to Norwegian youth to drop any large party plans this weekend, not least because of the Corona infection risk as well.
“You simply must use some common sense,” Mæland warned at the government’s press conference on Friday. “It’s okay to gather, max 20, and have some fun, but not to put yourself and others in danger.”
Last weekend’s bunker party could have ended as Norway’s worst catastrophe ever, with more deaths than those in the terrorist attacks of July 22, 2011. Party arrangers had broken into the sealed bunker, illegally providing only a one-square-meter wide entrance/exit through which all roughly 200 guests had to pass. After carbon monoxide from a generator used for electricity spread through the bunker, “they were only minutes away from catastrophe,” according to medical experts at the scene. Two police officers assisting in the evacuation of the bunker also wound up in the hospital, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Two people have since been charged in the case, with charges pending against two more. Municipalities all over the country were checking the security around similarly abandoned bunkers, to prevent party-minded youth from breaking into them as well.