Stockholm, Sweden suffered a terrorist attack April 7, 2017 on a Friday afternoon. Rakhmat Akilova, a 39-year-old man and rejected asylum seeker from Uzbekistan, hijacked a beer truck and drove 500 meters through Drottninggaten, the city’s longest pedestrian shopping lane. The truck crashed to a halt in the corner of Åhléns department store at Mäster Samuelsgatan.
His attack killed four pedestrians and injured at least 15 others along the popular shopping street. The four victims killed include two Swedes, a Belgian and a British national. The two Swedes were Ebba Åkerlundan, an 11-year old girl on her way after school to meet her mother and 69-year-old Lena Berglund. 41-year old Chris Bevington was a British businessman living in the city and working for the music streaming service Spotify, and Maïlys Dereymaeker, a 31-year old Belgian psychologist.
Also Iggy, a rescue dog from Dublin, died in the attack. Iggy had lived in Stockholm since 2012.
Images from Drottninggaten, Stockholm April 11, 2017.
Drottninggaten is two blocks from Stockholm’s Central Train Station. This is the area in the city I stayed on my previous two trips at Clarion Hotel Sign. Drottninggaten is a street I have walked many times on several trips to Stockholm over the past year. I enjoy walking pedestrian roads like Drottninggaten when staying in cities.
I am in Stockholm this week for the third time in 2017 to catch a Norwegian Airlines flight home to California. On Tuesday evening, I walked Drottninggaten to view the memorial tributes four days after Friday’s attack.
Sergels Torg is the location of a large square, one block from the site where the attack truck came to a halt. The flower memorial is concentrated here to allow Drottninggaten businesses to remain accessible. A large memorial in the square happened over the weekend attended by an estimated 20,000 persons.
A couple hundred people were visiting the site at 8pm Tuesday evening April 11.
Many parents brought their children.
Several children I saw placed more flowers on the steps leading up to Drottninggaten.
“Kärleken Vinner Alltid” – Love Always Wins
is Google Translate interpretation.
Young girl lighting a candle at steps.
Tribute to Iggy.
Åhléns Department Store Memorial Site
One block away from Sergel Torg square along Drottninggaten is the Åhléns City Department Store, where the truck crashed into the storefront windows.
Plywood boards on the corner of the Åhléns City store.
Tributes and flags from many countries were present.
A police van parked at the crash site memorial was covered in flowers.
A super-size teddy bear at the edge of the sea of flowers provided the inviting message:
“I’m here if you need a hug! Stockholm.”