The Luna Park Ghost Train fire was no accident…
1979 painted a dark day in Sydney’s history. On June 9, 1979, a fire broke out on Luna Park’s Ghost Train ride which killed seven people; 6 children and 1 adult. At the time, it was reported to be an accident. However, there is a much darker story that has not been told until now. According to the ABC, a well-known underworld figure, Abe Saffron is believed to be the one responsible for what occurred that awful night.
What’s tragic is the Sydney Underworld figure, dubbed “Mr. Sin” got away with the crime. He had help from corrupt police and politicians. According to retired police who spoke to the ABC documentary EXPOSED, the head detective on the case is believed to be one of them.
Moreover, in 2007, Anne Buckingham told The Sydney Morning Herald that her uncle, who happened to be Abe Saffron, was the one who ordered the arson attack on the train ride.
According to Buckingham:
I don’t think people were meant to be killed.Anne Buckingham on whether people were supposed to die on the Ghost Train
Meanwhile, Anne who was the daughter of Saffron’s sister and business partner, Beryl Buckingham said that despite her uncle denying involvement, he wanted the land. Meanwhile, it’s believed the Underworld figure who died in 2006 was linked to a total of seven other fires.
According to Buckingham, her uncle had a habit to ‘collect things’ indicating he wanted Luna Park. Apparently, Saffron had been after the land for over twenty years. Therefore, the Ghost Train fire was a way to evict the tenants so he could get what he wanted.
At the time to the SMH article’s publication, Ms Buckingham was tight lipped on whether she knew who the arsonist was.
Ghost Train Ride – What Happened To It After The Fire?
According to details that were released after the fire, Luna Park got shut down in order for an investigation to occur. The Police claimed it was just a tragic accident. But eyewitnesses, former staff of the park, the families of the victims, and firefighters believed it was arson.
Furthermore, according to another article by the ABC, the Ghost Train had no history of fire.
According to one person, the ride was incredibly popular and the night of the fire, the park was quieter then it would be normally on a Saturday.
The Ghost Train is described as being like an old Toyota that kept running. The ride was constructed in 1935 alongside the rest of the park.
Finally, after the fire, the ride was replaced. Now, The Big Top sits on the site that the Ghost Train once occupied and a plaque sits on the Big Top’s external wall, dedicated to the victims.
Luna Park Today
As someone who went to the park as a teenager, we never knew of what happened. Furthermore, it struck us as creepy. Especially when a person dressed as a demon was allegedly never found. Even as we type out this post now, we can see the fire leaping up before our eyes and people fleeing in terror. It would have been terrifying for the families who lost love ones to have to wait for information about their whereabouts.
Finally, when we hear the name ‘Abe Saffron’ it makes us so mad! He never cared about the people who were occupying the park at the time of the fire. All he wanted was the land… for what purpose?! Seven people DIED that night because he got greedy. If it were not for him, those people lost would still be here now.