A foundation prodding a new investigation of the Scandinavian Star ferry fire 26 years ago, backed by claims from a retired Danish maritime inspector, believe that the tragedy was caused by sabotage carried out by crew members as part of a massive insurance swindle.
Flemming Thue Jensen, who was sent on board the still-smoldering ferry even before the bodies of all 159 victims were removed, went public over the weekend with charges against two crew members. One is now deceased, he said, and the other is living in the US.
Jensen was also highly critical of the Norwegian police who led the initial investigations into the tragedy on April 7, 1990, and told state broadcaster NRK he has no confidence in any new police investigation. “If they had spoken with us (the inspectors) and investigated the case more closely, it would have been cleared up in 199o,” he told TV2.
He claimed he approached the Norwegian police twice, but was never called in to relate what he knew. Danish authorities, moreover, only gave him a mandate to tell investigators about the time up to and during the fire, not the evidence he believes he found afterwards.
The foundation, meanwhile, believes as many as nine crew members were behind the fire that killed 134 Norwegians as they sailed from Oslo to Fredrikshavn. The Norwegian Parliament voted to waive the statute of limitations on the case, and a commission was named to carry out a new investigation.