Torp hostage crisis

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Torp hostage crisis
Location Sandefjord Airport, Torp, Norway
Date 28–29 September 1994
Attack type
Weapons Guns / handguns
Deaths 1 (one of the hostage takers)
Non-fatal injuries
no injuries
Perpetrators Rasid Koca and Zvonimir Majdek

The Torp hostage crisis occurred on 28 September 1994 at Sandefjord Airport, Torp, Norway. Two Swedish robbers took two police officers and two pensioners as hostages. The police freed the hostages and killed one of the hostage takers. It is the only peace time incident in which a Norwegian chief of police has given the order to shoot to kill.

Line of events[edit]

Swedish citizens Rasid Koca, originally from the Czech Republic, and Zvonimir Majdek, originally from Croatia, robbed a small post office in Østre Halsen, just outside Larvik. Their car broke down during the escape and they eventually ended up in the homes of an elderly couple in Larvik after taking a 44-year-old female police officer as hostage the night after the robbery. A negotiator from Sandefjord police station was brought in to negotiate with the hostage takers and communicated with them through police radio, which meant that the entire press was able to listen in. They were led to believe that they would be given an airplane at the nearest airport, at Torp, but upon arrival they quickly realized that they had been fooled.

In an attempt to give the hostage takers new batteries for the police radio, the negotiator was himself taken hostage. He was then told that he was going to be killed if the demands of the kidnappers were not met, which was a sum of USD 10 million and passage out of the country within the hour. He was forced to do the countdown to his own execution, every five minutes from 08:30. At 08:58 he reported through the radio: "it's now 2 minutes until I will get shot". Few seconds later the Emergency Response Unit launched an attack that saved all hostages and killed Rasid Koca.[1] He was killed instantaneously by a sniper from the Emergency Response Unit. This is the only time in Norwegian peace history when a direct order to shoot to kill has been given.[citation needed]

Due to the MS Estonia sinking, the incident received little press attention, although a mini TV-series titled Deadline Torp was made for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), in 2005. The film has since been publicised on DVD.[2]


  1. ^ "Gisselet minnes Torp-dramaet". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 15 August 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gisseldramaet på Torp Lufthavn blir film". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 6 August 2003. Retrieved 30 March 2007.