Scandinavian Star

One of the most beautiful monuments of Oslo, though, is situated in the center near the Aker Brygge embankment under the walls of the Akershus Fortress, “hidden” from the tourist’s sight. This monument is dedicated to the 158 victims of a fire that broke out in 1990 on the passenger ferry “Scandinavian Star”.

So what could have happened on board a modern ferry operating on the popular Oslo–Christianshavn (Denmark) route? The following investigation discovered numerous factors, one compounding another. The sound of the fire alarm was so quiet that some passengers simply didn’t wake up. The interior finish was made of materials that emitted poisonous fumes during the combustion process. It should also be mentioned that the crew, mainly Portuguese, spoke neither English nor Norwegian and were not trained in fire prevention activities. The crew, led by the captain, deserted the sinking ferry before the evacuation of all the passengers was complete in defiance of all generally accepted rules.

 But two important questions have remained unanswered. Who started the fire and why? More than ten years have passed and the tragedy is still alive in people’s memories, especially the relatives and friends of the dead. It has become a tradition to meet near the monument on the 7th of April every year.

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