Norway’s graduating high school seniors known as russ (roughly prounced “roose”) have once again launched their annual season of wild partying, and it immediately landed several in the hospital. Police are investigating why five russ teenagers in Halden fell seriously ill over the weekend, and suspect they unwittingly consumed a new form of synthetic drugs.
All had to be rushed to Kalnes Hospital between Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad after falling ill at one of the season’s first massive russ gatherings in Halden. Several complained of breathing problems and severe stomach pain, along with feeling fear and anxiety.
“I was screaming because I couldn’t breathe,” one 18-year-old told state broadcaster NRK. She said her friends told her she was “screaming that my stomach felt like it was on fire.”
She suspects someone spiked her drink at the party, and police do, too. “We’re investigating on the hypothesis that all five were subjected to the same substance,” Anders Bekkemoen of Øst Police District told NRK.
In another incident over the weekend, three teenagers called police to report being robbed at knifepoint in Oslo’s famed Frogner Park, where russ also gathered during their first party weekend. Their assailants took their mobile phones and other valuables. Around 500 youth were in the park, half of whom were not russ.