An armed man stole an ambulance in Oslo on Tuesday, lightly injuring five people — including two babies — when he drove off and hit a family, Norwegian police and hospital officials said.
“Two babies were injured after the hijacked ambulance hit a family. They are twins, seven months old. They are being treated,” Oslo University hospital spokesperson Anders Bayer said.
The injuries were light, however, police later said.
Oslo police said on Twitter a woman with a stroller was run over, while an an elderly married couple narrowly escaped being hit by the vehicle.
It is unclear how many people in total were injured.
The ambulance was stolen after authorities responded to a traffic accident on an Oslo traffic circle in which a car had turned over. The man left the scene on foot and pointed a weapon at police officers before stealing the ambulance.
The man was apprehended after police shot at the vehicle, police said, adding the 32-year-old was not critically injured. The investigation was in its early phase, with no information to suggest the incident was related to terrorism, police said.
Police said the suspect appeared to have deliberately hit the pedestrians and that they had found a significant amount of what appeared to be illegal drugs following the arrest, as well as a shotgun and a semi-automatic weapon.
They would also investigate whether the suspect had ties to far-right extremists, although a motive had not been established, and they had yet to interview him.
Police later arrested a 25-year-old woman, who was a passenger in the overturned car. Both the man and woman are known to police, investigator Grete Leir Mettid told reporters.
Ambulansen ble stjålet fra Rosenhoff litt over kl. 1230. Kontroll på ambulansen og en mistenkt i Krebs gate ca. kl. 1245. En kvinne med barnevogn og et eldre ektepar er påkjørt eller måtte hoppe unna ved Sandaker Senter. Kvinnen og barna er kjørt til sykehus.
The ambulance was stolen from the Oslo neighbourhood of Rosenhoff just after 12:30 p.m. local time, police said.
Bayer confirmed to Norwegian news agency NTB that the ambulance was stolen by an armed person. Three hospital employees in the vehicle when it was stolen were unharmed, Bayer added.
The hospital spokesperson said the ambulance crew had responded to a routine incident when their vehicle was taken.
“They were called to an ordinary traffic accident, where they were met by the armed person,” Bayer said, adding that the hospital had quickly tracked the ambulance via its built-in GPS device.
“Some minutes later, one of our other ambulances managed to stop the hijacked vehicle by crashing into it. Then the police came after the crash and got him,” Bayer said.
The ambulance came to a halt just over 1.5 kilometres from where it was hijacked.
Police have cordoned off a large area of northern Oslo, and a significant numbers of officers were deployed in the city, officials said.
Public broadcaster NRK showed images of an ambulance driving through the Torshov neighbourhood of Oslo while several gunshots rang out.
Police declined to comment on whether the incident was being treated as a deliberate attack.
“An armed man stole an ambulance, drove away and hit some people. We got him now,” a police spokesperson said.