Scot escapes death during Oslo bomb blast


By Kirsty Topping

A SCOTTISH man has told how he escaped death in the Oslo bomb blast – because his bike lock was broken.

Jamie Mackenzie, 45, was caught up in the carnage which hit the Norwegian capital on Friday.

The explosion ripped apart a government building and shattered glass in buildings several streets away.

Eight people were killed and a further ten remain in a critical condition.

The journalist, who works for an oil and gas industry publication called Upstream, was walking home after finishing work and fears he could have been killed if he had taken his bike as normal.

He said:

“I normally cycle to work and back, but my lock was broken on that day, so I was walking, and I must have been about 300 metres away when I heard the explosion

“It was so loud I didn’t know what to think, and I remembered there was some work going on in the square and thought it might have been a gas explosion, but almost immediately I ruled that out as it was so powerful.

“The windows all around me were shattered and there was glass everywhere, but while I got showered I was lucky, I didn’t get a scratch.

“I can remember walking round into the area of the blast and just being left numb with shock at how much damage it had caused. “

Mr Mackenzie was showered with glass in the aftermath, but it was only when he staggered round the corner that he realised just how close he had come to being killed.

“It was only after a few minutes that I started to look around at where the bomb had gone off and realised that if I had been on my bike I would have been right next to the explosion.”

Mr Mackenzie, who moved to Norway from Edinburgh in 2003, said the scene of the explosion was one of utter destruction.

“The air was still thick with smoke and it smelled like fireworks. I could hear a few people screaming and there were people being tended to all around me. There were a few others like me who were just in shock, but we all looked for people we could help.

“I saw a girl with some blood on her face, and other people who were just dazed.

“The scale of the destruction just left me numb, but I remember then that this huge policeman came running over to us screaming and waving his arms, and it was then it hit me that where there was one bomb there might be others and that this probably wasn’t the place to be.”

After being taken from the scene by police he contacted family and friends to let them know he was safe.

He then met up in a bar with friends where they watched the in horror as the massacre on Utoya unfolded.

However Mr Mackenzie said the Norwegians were determined not to let the tragedy affect how they live their lives.

He added: “The people here are very determined that this will not change them. This is a very tolerant, peaceful country and the people are very gentle.”