Hostel fire in Australia

Beattie ensures full investigation into hostel fire
Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said today he was considering a state day of mourning in the aftermath of the Childers backpacker fire.

'We will sit down when we know the full magnitude of it and I certainly wouldn't exclude that,' Mr Beattie said.

Three Aussies, 10 Brits among 18 unaccounted for in hostel fire
Three Australians may be among those killed in a fire at a Queensland backpacker hostel overnight, police said.

Timeline of backpacker fires in Australia
September, 1989 - Six travellers from Austria, Sweden, Denmark and the UK killed when fire sweeps through the Downunder Hostel in Sydney's Kings Cross. Serial arsonist Gregory Allan Brown later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 18 years jail. Hostel operators Baroku Pty Ltd ordered to pay damages in 1998 after legal action launched by four survivors.

Grief counsellors arrive in Childers
A team of expert grief counsellors have arrived in the devastated Queensland town of Childers to start working with friends of backpackers who perished in an overnight fire.

Beazley expresses grief at deaths
The fire at a Queensland backpackers hostel was a shocking event that touched the heart of every parent, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said today.

Difficult to establish death toll, says fire chief
Attempts to establish an accurate account of the death toll at the Childers hostel fire had been hampered as many survivors have now left the area, fire services said today.

Hotline set up by police
Queensland police have set up a hotline for people concerned about the welfare of friends and relatives who may have been staying at the backpacker hostel which burnt down at Childers overnight.

Survivors tell of harrowing escape
Survivors of a fatal fire in a Queensland backpackers hostel escaped across the roof of a neighboring building to safety after waking in the middle of the night to smell smoke.

Howard calls fire an appalling tragedy
Prime Minister John Howard said today's disastrous Queensland hostel fire in which at least fifteen backpackers died was an appalling tragedy.

15 die in backpackers fire
Fifteen people died and a number remained missing after a fire overnight at a Queensland backpackers hostel, police said.


Suspect near burning bin
Police have a first-hand account of a man they believe to be Robert Paul Long lighting a fire inside the Palace Backpackers Hostel shortly before the first explosions from the fire that killed 15 people were heard.

Lonely drifter who spoke of death and disaster
Robbie Long was a troubled soul. In the weeks leading up to the Childers fire, death and suicide were never far from his thoughts. He also talked a lot about fighting and how to hurt people. Hurt them badly.

A man who has problems ... and 'a heart of gold'
Robert Paul Long had a chequered past but a "heart of gold", a childhood friend said yesterday.

Tearful tributes from numbed survivors
The passage of a couple of days has not eased the pain. "You see it on the television and in the papers and it keeps coming back to you," said Keith O'Brien, a 22-year-old British backpacker who escaped from Friday's inferno by squeezing through the bars of his bedroom window.

Man fled backpacker fire and hid behind bushes, says witness
Police were told of a man fleeing the scene soon after the Palace Backpackers Hostel in Childers went up in flames.

'I know Natalie would've phoned if she was able'
As British relatives continued their agonising wait for official word on those who died, the father of missing Welsh woman Natalie Morris, 28, said he was certain she would have telephoned if she had survived the fire.

Police 'ignored' wanted man sightings
Childers local police last week ignored sightings of the wanted man Robert Paul Long, an angry Palace Backpackers employee said yesterday.

There will be no cover-up in fire inquiry, pledges Beattie
The Queensland Premier, Mr Beattie, has declared today a statewide day of mourning, with flags to be flown at half-mast at all government buildings to honour the dead.


Parents urge fire suspect to come forward

DNA needed to identify backpackers

Police confirm suicide note

Many stay on despite fatal fire

Families give up hope over missing relatives