In fact, the programme was an “educational role play”, but it was so realistic that the children, aged between 13 and 15, began to panic, fearing that their parents could have been killed, reported Dagens Nyheter.
While the broadcast did not have quite the impact of Orson Wells’ famous 1938 radio dramatisation of “War of the Worlds”, in which residents of New York and New Jersey thought they were under attack by Martians, the children at Hemmesta School believed that a major terror attack was underway.
According to DN, the programme ‘reported’ on explosions on buses and the underground network, as well as a nuclear power station which had begun to leak radiation.
“The children were completely unprepared,” said furious father Karri Wiklund. “They were crying and calling home to their parents.”
Wiklund told DN that his daughter described the experience as “the worst thing in her whole life”.
The head of Hemmesta School, Karin Nordblom, explained that the “educational drama method” was meant to let the children experience events in a surprising way.
“But this went very wrong,” she said.
“It had a far too realistic introduction. I have spoken to the pupils and apologised.”