Ghost train fire Sydney 1979

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zedx

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Easier to get in and out undetected when there are lots of other ppl around.
Lots of other potential suspects with so many people around.
No security cameras back then.
No smartphone cameras/video recorders in just about everyone's hand/bag for teenagers + back then
You do have a good some good points there, but IMO it was such a risk.
 

BFew

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You do have a good some good points there, but IMO it was such a risk.
If they had been told, or thought they and those whose orders they were acting on, were to be protected from prosecution for that fire, it might have been a bearable risk.

Also, an after hours fire on the Ghost Train when it is not turned on is way harder to blame on mechanical issues that would require it running for a spark to ignite anything. And much more likely to be deliberately lit.
 

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BFew

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I dont believe Bikies started the fire. Easy to blame them.
Have you actually watched any or all of the 3 ABC TV EXPOSED: The Ghost Train Fire episodes, which first went to air in the last 3 weeks?
Over 4 hours of watching in total.

I'm guessing you haven't.

Edit: It's quite possible that the 5 ppl that looked like bikies, on/next to the Ghost Train Ride, were fake bikies just made and dressed up to look like bikies, and were there to make it look like some bikies started the fire.

 
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BFew

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There's a video of the NSW Premier speaking about this today embedded in the below titled
'Calls for inquiry into 1979 Luna Park Ghost Train fire'.

I can't imagine that the scope of any form of inquiry would extend to looking at Police or Government corruption relating to this.

Although a Royal Commission into the 1976-1986 NSW State Labor Neville Wran Government, might be tempting to boot up, or announce, at this point in the NSW State and Federal elections life cycle.

That would probably need to be a seperate inquiry.
And maybe only after investigations/prosecutions/appeals for lighting the fire, or ordering/commissioning the lighting of the fire at Luna Park in 1979, had concluded.

'3:23pm Apr 8, 2021

'Premier Gladys Berejiklian was today asked about the fresh evidence and whether she would support an inquest.
"I understand that relevant agencies in NSW are considering that," she replied.
Ms Berejiklian said it was always "really difficult" to decide what needed to be reopened.
"I know that if that was my family, I'd want that to happen," she said.
"That's why parts of the NSW government are considering our options there and if we can go down that path, we will. But I do want to confirm that we are giving it good consideration."'

'NSW Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg is also supportive of a fresh inquiry but said the form of it should be left to the state government.
"The fact that these families haven't had answers for 42 years really is an indictment on the justice system in NSW," he said.
Both Labor and the Greens back a special commission of inquiry into the fire.
In a statement, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said he was pleased the Commissioner for Police had committed to consider "new and compelling" evidence, and that the coroner had indicated she would carefully consider any application for a fresh inquest.
"In addition, the Attorney General has asked the Department of Communities and Justice for advice on any appropriate action," the statement said.
"Anyone, including the program makers, who has information about the fire at Luna Park should contact police as soon as possible.'
 

BFew

Norm Smith Medallist
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What i don't understand is if it was done on purpose why on earth would they do when the ride was operational (risking innocent lives)? and why when there were crowds of people around (risk being seen)? Would it not have been far simpler to have done it whilst the park was closed?
Easier to get in and out undetected when there are lots of other ppl around.
Lots of other potential suspects with so many people around.
No security cameras back then.
No smartphone cameras/video recorders in just about everyone's hand/bag for teenagers + back then
Also, an after hours fire on the Ghost Train when it is not turned on is way harder to blame on mechanical issues that would require it running for a spark to ignite anything. And much more likely to be deliberately lit.
Just to add 'electrical issues' to 'mechanical issues' in the above.

Going back to the heart of your why risk innocent lives question, and how they thought they could get away.

That might be explained if the whole thing being a planned operation, intended to cause multiple deaths, and with it to be publicly blamed on an accident, as part of a pre-planned operation. Along with the person or persons at Luna Park that lit the fire, or assisted the fire with deploying kerosene to fuel it, being told/assured before they committed their crimes that horrific night, that they would not be pursued, because there was a Police/Political fix to make sure of this. (Noting that the NSW Premier (1976-86) Wran was also the sole self-appointed Minister for Police 1976-1980 at the same time he was Premier.

And given how it now appears that in many circles, it was a pretty open secret in NSW at the time of how corrupt both much of NSW Police and the NSW Premier himself was, those that lit/aided the Ghost Train fire, might have well believed that they would get away with it. With the NSW Police being called off looking for them the day after the fire, because it was all only an 'accident', and thus there was no point in looking for them.

And at worst, if they were caught, they could try blaming it on a cigarette butt one of them carelessly disposed of inside the Ghost Train.
Or just say they didn't do it. That they just went for a fun ride on the Ghost Train.
 
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sprockets

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There's a video of the NSW Premier speaking about this today embedded in the below titled
'Calls for inquiry into 1979 Luna Park Ghost Train fire'.

I can't imagine that the scope of any form of inquiry would extend to looking at Police or Government corruption relating to this.

Although a Royal Commission into the 1976-1986 NSW State Labor Neville Wran Government, might be tempting to boot up, or announce, at this point in the NSW State and Federal elections life cycle.

That would probably need to be a seperate inquiry.
And maybe only after investigations/prosecutions/appeals for lighting the fire, or ordering/commissioning the lighting of the fire at Luna Park in 1979, had concluded.

'3:23pm Apr 8, 2021

'Premier Gladys Berejiklian was today asked about the fresh evidence and whether she would support an inquest.
"I understand that relevant agencies in NSW are considering that," she replied.
Ms Berejiklian said it was always "really difficult" to decide what needed to be reopened.
"I know that if that was my family, I'd want that to happen," she said.
"That's why parts of the NSW government are considering our options there and if we can go down that path, we will. But I do want to confirm that we are giving it good consideration."'

'NSW Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg is also supportive of a fresh inquiry but said the form of it should be left to the state government.
"The fact that these families haven't had answers for 42 years really is an indictment on the justice system in NSW," he said.
Both Labor and the Greens back a special commission of inquiry into the fire.
In a statement, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said he was pleased the Commissioner for Police had committed to consider "new and compelling" evidence, and that the coroner had indicated she would carefully consider any application for a fresh inquest.
"In addition, the Attorney General has asked the Department of Communities and Justice for advice on any appropriate action," the statement said.
"Anyone, including the program makers, who has information about the fire at Luna Park should contact police as soon as possible.'
NSW 'special commissions of inquiry' are where anyone can contact them with any information, whether it's true or false, and they treat it as true. I doubt anything will come of it, if it happens.
 

BFew

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NSW 'special commissions of inquiry' are where anyone can contact them with any information, whether it's true or false, and they treat it as true. I doubt anything will come of it, if it happens.
Might just be a case of using something like some of the line's that Telstra used in their offical Claremont Serial Killer case apology, post conviction of their ex-employee Bradley Robert Edwards.


The events in question happened more than 20 years ago, which has made it difficult for us to locate information and understand why certain decisions were made at that time,”

“However, it is clear that we didn’t respond in the way we should have or would today.”
 

BFew

Norm Smith Medallist
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Ben Fordham (2GB radio) today interviewed the main presenter (Caro Meldrum-Hanna) of ABC's Exposed: The Ghost Train Fire recent 3 part series.
You can hear it in either the podcast or download of his radio show today from just after the 58 minute mark.


 

johnymac1

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Have you actually watched any or all of the 3 ABC TV EXPOSED: The Ghost Train Fire episodes, which first went to air in the last 3 weeks?
Over 4 hours of watching in total.

I'm guessing you haven't.

Edit: It's quite possible that the 5 ppl that looked like bikies, on/next to the Ghost Train Ride, were fake bikies just made and dressed up to look like bikies, and were there to make it look like some bikies started the fire.

They made some good points, and made it clear Abe had an interest in the Park. He and others clearly benefited by the disaster.

In the program, there is a possibility that the producer interviewed the arsonist without knowing. Naturally in his statements, he's going to deflect blame. “Yeah – Nah ..Ah yeah the Bikies did it!”

Hows the likely-hood of a contractor enlisted by Abe? Who looks a bit like a Bikie and takes along four Bikie mates along to commit a criminal act. Just for the fun of it, he takes two hippy chicks along for the the ride. Five of six potential witnesses not including the other ride goers.

Abe was a mobster, in real life he's likely to send out a trusty lieutenant with no witnesses !
 

BFew

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In the program, there is a possibility that the producer interviewed the arsonist without knowing.

Hows the likely-hood of a contractor enlisted by Abe? Who looks a bit like a Bikie and takes along four Bikie mates along to commit a criminal act. Just for the fun of it, he takes two hippy chicks along for the the ride. Five of six potential witnesses not including the other ride goers.
To reinvestigate the fire on the basis, that it was not likely an accident, would start with looking at things like whether it was either
(a) an inside job by someone who worked there or used to work there, or who was assisted by someone who worked there or used to work there
(b) someone(s) who were on the ride and lit the fire from the moving ride car

They'd need to look at whether it was possible to pour kerosene (which may or may not have been involved) and light the fire and make an exit out of some side/backdoor to the Ghost Train without easily being seen by either people on the ride, or anyone else at Luna Park.

All of these 5 witnesses need to come forward, or the Police need to find them and get statements from them.
And interview everyone else that was at Luna Park that night, and ask for anyone else who has information they heard from people who were at Luna Park that night that might be useful (i.e people exiting out of any back/side doors to the Ghost Train ride that might have existed.

IMO, currently, there's just as much chance that Abe Saffron was/is the designated fall guy for getting blamed for the fire and was not the instigator of it,
as there is that all the alleged witnesses and way too over-confident "no doubt", 100% it was Abe behind it, are on the money.

Focusing on who might have been behind it, (i.e might have ordered it) at this stage, is going to be a huge distraction from the basic forensics of how the fire likely did and did not start, and who actually lit the fire. Because if you can nail them. tracing things back to who (if anyone) asked, ordered, requested, paid them to do it, is much easier. Particularly if all/most of the main ppl involved above them are now deceased.
 

BFew

Norm Smith Medallist
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Abe was a mobster, in real life he's likely to send out a trusty lieutenant with no witnesses !
As we know with mobsters (from watching the movies about them), not all trusty lieutenant's can be trusted all of the time.
And that there would have likely been other mobsters in the background, waiting to depose or take over from the King mobster.

Look what happened to one of Saffron's so called trusty lieutenant's. (James McCartney Anderson: "Big Jim"), who rolled over to the NCA and allegedly produced the key evidence (possibly fabricated) that got Abe Saffron jailed for tax offences.
 
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BFew

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BFew

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'The NSW coroner will consider a new inquest into a fire at Sydney’s Luna Park in 1979 ...
Initial investigations pointed towards an electrical fault, but further inquiries proved non-conclusive.'


More like, initial investigations were (insert your own expletive). Investigations after unqualified and corrupt NSW police falsely claimed that it was an accident, showed that it was most unlikely that the ignition of the fire occurred because of an electrical fault.

'The cause of the fire cannot conclusively be stated.
It is clear that it commenced in or in the vicinity of a display representing an imitation fire.
Expert evidence has been given of examination of what was left of the electrical system, and of tests made after the fire.
It has been shown that it was most unlikely that the ignition occurred through electrical fault, the possibility of such a cause cannot be
completely excluded.
A statement made to police soon after the fire indicated that it had been deliberately started, that statement has been shown to be false and mischievous.'
 

johnymac1

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'The NSW coroner will consider a new inquest into a fire at Sydney’s Luna Park in 1979 ...
Initial investigations pointed towards an electrical fault, but further inquiries proved non-conclusive.'


More like, initial investigations were (insert your own expletive). Investigations after unqualified and corrupt NSW police falsely claimed that it was an accident, showed that it was most unlikely that the ignition of the fire occurred because of an electrical fault.

'The cause of the fire cannot conclusively be stated.
It is clear that it commenced in or in the vicinity of a display representing an imitation fire.
Expert evidence has been given of examination of what was left of the electrical system, and of tests made after the fire.
It has been shown that it was most unlikely that the ignition occurred through electrical fault, the possibility of such a cause cannot be
completely excluded.
A statement made to police soon after the fire indicated that it had been deliberately started, that statement has been shown to be false and mischievous.'
Thats great News, a difficult task considering a very limited evidentiary base.
 

BFew

Norm Smith Medallist
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Thats great News, a difficult task considering a very limited evidentiary base.
Is there going to be a public call for any more evidence anyone has, to come forwards with it and formally provide it to Police, as part of this NSW Police Review of the evidence for the Coroner?

Because if there isn't, there could be some very important evidence that only comes to light during any new inquest. Or if there is to be no new inquest from this round of evidence review, from any subsequent reviews of new evidence that people might only elect to bring forwards, if/when they see that the case has gone cold again.

As a result of the last 3 weeks publicity for this case, how many people currently sitting on key evidence in this case, will now hang onto any evidence that has not yet been revealed yet, or to back up new evidence or allegations made recently about it, until a reward is posted for coming forwards with evidence? And may never come forwards with that evidence if a reward for evidence is never offered?
 

Bunk Moreland

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After watching the documentary, IMO, it's still very unclear exactly what happened as there is no direct evidence. We need to keep in mind forensics in the 70's was far from what it is today. It is questionable why the scene was razed so quickly, but it could easily have just been a case of not understanding the forensic requirements of which we understand today or was it for insurance purposes? Was the owner worried something may be found which would void his insurance claim? What i don't understand is if it was done on purpose why on earth would they do when the ride was operational (risking innocent lives)? and why when there were crowds of people around (risk being seen)? Would it not have been far simpler to have done it whilst the park was closed?
Good points but it is more than possible. The witnesses described the suspects as “looking like bikies” but still, IIRC, as quiet young. Good chance we’re not dealing with professionals here. Who knows how many levels of “subcontractors” this sort of thing could be filtered through, each level being able to pay the next less money to take the risk of being at the scene.
 

sprockets

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Good points but it is more than possible. The witnesses described the suspects as “looking like bikies” but still, IIRC, as quiet young. Good chance we’re not dealing with professionals here. Who knows how many levels of “subcontractors” this sort of thing could be filtered through, each level being able to pay the next less money to take the risk of being at the scene.
If I was paying someone I'd want them to do it and to tell no-one else. I can't see any way Saffron would allow numbers of people to know what was happening.
 

FRUMPY

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Great 3 part documentary (good follow up to the first one) - the first episode is extremely sad and the last one is disturbing (but not surprising - the depth of dirty police/politicians and you know it still goes on today)

Its a disgusting world we live in
 

Bunk Moreland

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If I was paying someone I'd want them to do it and to tell no-one else. I can't see any way Saffron would allow numbers of people to know what was happening.
I dunno, it sounds like the lighting of fires was not exactly a rare tactic for Saffron. Quite possible he got pretty comfortable and relaxed around these things, particularly knowing he had senior cops he could forewarn to be on the scene and destroy it.

I mean, let's not forget he had very good reason to be comfortable and relaxed. He got away with it with barely a worry. It was the murder of 7 people (6 children) and the most senior of police just squashed it for him.
 

johnymac1

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Fire extinguisher training

Most of the bigger firms send their employees on fire extinguisher training. The instructor usually lights up a metal container filled with kerosene and demonstrates how to use an extinguisher or fire blanket. Usually this happens in the winter months, due to fire-bans etc.

The instructor teaches you how to identify the different types of extinguisher. Water, Carbon dioxide and Foam. He demonstrated how to tackle oil and paper fires and some electrical fires. They show you heaps of videos of different fires. Christmas trees going up shocked me a bit.

The training is well worth it, Ive had to put out a dozen fires over the years. Unfortunately the training doesn’t prepare you for every type of fire. One electrical fire we couldn’t put out safely. It was a fire in a big electrical switch board. We saw it well alight and had to call the electricity provider to isolate it before we could tackled it. We ended up letting it burnt itself out, as foam would have damaged the board. I was coughing up for a week, the smoke was pretty bad.

Another fire, this time in a light fitting. Summing it up, it was quicker to unplug and carry the burning light fitting outside, then extinguish it, away from employees. Burning plastics give out dangerous gases, Ive had to tackle a few of those.

Welding and grinding incidents are a big cause of fires. One spark, set a paper store alight once. I had to aim an extinguisher through a locked fence, but managed to put it out. We got too it early, before it spread, but started to run out of extinguishers.

What If??
If someone raised the alert earlier, and the employees dealt with that fire in ghost train. Then we wouldn’t be talking about it now.
 

BFew

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In the Andrew Rule Podcast on Abe Saffron and this very likely arson attack, Rule thinks that because when the fire occurred was right on closing time, and with other rides already closed for the night (like the bumper cars and big dipper), that the thoughts of the likely arsonists was that by the time that the fire took hold, that no-one would have been on the ride because it would been closed for any more passengers.

Another potential reason why arsonists might have timed lighting a fire, with the closing time for the venue, would have been because they would have had the cover of the crowds exiting Luna Park when they made their exit.

 

BFew

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zedx

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In the Andrew Rule Podcast on Abe Saffron and this very likely arson attack, Rule thinks that because when the fire occurred was right on closing time, and with other rides already closed for the night (like the bumper cars and big dipper), that the thoughts of the likely arsonists was that by the time that the fire took hold, that no-one would have been on the ride because it would been closed for any more passengers.

Another potential reason why arsonists might have timed lighting a fire, with the closing time for the venue, would have been because they would have had the cover of the crowds exiting Luna Park when they made their exit.

Now that seems like a more plausible answer to my question of why did they do it when people were still on the ride.
 

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