Two killed in knife attack at Ikea store in Swedish city

STOCKHOLM • Two people were killed and one seriously injured in a knife attack yesterday at an Ikea store in the city of Vasteras, about an hour west of the Swedish capital Stockholm.

"A man and a woman with stab wounds were found at the scene. They later died of their injuries," a police statement said.

"Another person is seriously injured. One man has been arrested. He is suspected of murder."

The motive for the attack was unclear, police said.

The wounded person, a man aged around 35, immediately underwent surgery at a local hospital, said Ms Eva Lindahl, a spokesman for the regional health care authority.

Ms Lena Moren, head duty nurse at the Vasteras hospital, told the SVT public broadcaster that the man had life-threatening injuries.

Police disclosed no other information about the identities of the attacker and the victims.

When contacted, Ikea's press officer, Ms Daniela Rogosic, told European newspaper The Local that the company was directing all questions to the police who were investigating at the scene, as it focused on its staff members and customers for now.

"We don't have the complete picture yet, but what we know right now is that none of our staff are among the injured," she said.

Local daily VLT, quoting the store manager, reported that the victims were "ordinary shoppers" and the attack took place in the kitchen accessories section.

Swedish television broadcast footage of the home furnishings store, which had been evacuated and was surrounded by police.

Several ambulances were at the scene and the area was cordoned off by police, eyewitnesses said.

SVT showed images of one person being carried into an ambulance while hundreds of shoppers in summer clothes stood outside the store in bright sunshine.

Ikea spokesman Anna Pilkrona- Godden said that the Erikslund Shopping Centre, where the Ikea outlet was located, had been closed, according to the BBC.

The furniture store - which is about 115km north-west of Stockholm - is part of a large retail complex and has more than 3,000 parking spaces, according to The Local.

Founded in Sweden in 1943, Ikea is known for its ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances, and home accessories. The furniture giant had 361 stores worldwide last year, according to its website.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2015, with the headline 'Two killed in knife attack at Ikea store in Swedish city'. Print Edition | Subscribe