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June 1st, 2017
The Norwegian commission of enquiry’s report today concluded that the fire spread catastrophically because of overheating in the ship’s steel construction, the Norwegian news bureau NTB reports.
The commission were unable to find any evidence that pointed to the fire being started deliberately as part of an insurance fraud.
The same 2013 report claimed that as many as nine experienced members of the crew, having joined the ship earlier in Tampa, were likely to be responsible for six separate fires on the Scandinavian Star as well as multiple acts of sabotage to both the ship and the fire crew's efforts to put out the fire. The report proposed the motive for the crime was insurance fraud, as the ship was insured for twice its value shortly before the fire broke out. The report claims that multiple people with insider knowledge of the ship were required for events to unfold as they did.
This controversial and unproven report led to renewed police interest; and in 2014 the investigation was officially reopened and charges dropped against the deceased suspect Erik Mørk Andersen.
In February 2016, the retired Danish investigator Flemming Thue Jensen, who had led the post-fire investigation in 1990, claimed that the fire was sabotage and was set by members of the ship's crew; that fire doors had been propped open to allow the fire to spread; and that a third flare-up that occurred after the ship had been evacuated of passengers was caused by crew members soaking mattresses with diesel fuel.
June 1, 2017
Norwegian Arvid Rusten, now 67 years old, had hoped there finally would be more answers, and accused investigators of being unwilling to fully clarify what happened.
“This is a parody, I’ve given up the whole case,” Rusten, who lives in the mountain town of Sykkelven, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Thursday after the report had been delivered. He still suspects the fire was set by an arsonist or arsonists acting on behalf of an alleged insurance scam, and that those killed were actually murdered.
Gisle Weddegjerde of Ålesund, a shipping technician working for a group that wants a new investigation of the fire, was dissatisfied with the report’s conclusion as well. “It’s horrible,” he told NRK. “Don’t forget that this is an unsolved mass murder case without the culprits being identified, and that can be done.”
2 June 2017
“People waiting for answers will not get them from you. You are deceiving people into thinking that this is the truth. It is not,” Ole Arnt Westberg of the Support Group for the Scandinavian Star Accident said after the report was presented in parliament.
Sigurd Klomsæt, lawyer for many of the victims’ families, also said that he was shocked by the report.
“Many elements have been kept hidden. That’s sad,” Klomsæt said according to NTB.
Several theories exist as to the course of events that led to the disaster, which claimed 159 lives, on board the ferry on 7th April 1990.
The group "Foundation for Arson Investigation into Scandinavian Star" contested the 2016 investigation's conclusions, with one member of the group accusing the police of having removed vital photographs from the investigation materials.
22 February 2016
Retired Danish ship inspector Flemming Thue Jensen stepped forward in a series of interviews with the Danish and Norwegian press over the weekend to say that the fatal fire aboard the Scandinavian Star was sabotage.
Relatives of some of the 159 people who died have long campaigned for the case to be reopened, arguing that there is evidence to suggest that the fire was a deliberate arson carried out by the ship's crew.
According to Jensen’s new revelations, that is precisely what happened.
At a Sunday press conference in Oslo, Jensen said he would not speak to Norwegian police about his new revelations.
“I don’t trust the Norwegian police but I am willing to testify in court,” he said.
Norwegian police said on Sunday that they would take Jensen’s new information into consideration.