Electrical Fault Most Likely Cause of Southsea Dinosaur Fire
Police investigators attempting to establish the cause of the fire that destroyed the Luna Park sculpture of an Ultrasaurus on Southsea common have suggested that the most likely cause was an electrical fault that led to the blaze.
The magnificent model of a huge, long-necked dinosaur which on a clear day could be seen as far away as the Isle of Wight was burnt down a few days ago, to read about the fire:
Luna Park Blaze: Southsea Dinosaur Sculpture Destroyed by Fire.
At first, a number of local residents thought the fire had been started deliberately, many blaming students and suggesting arson. However, police and fire examiners now believe that the most likely cause of the blaze was a fault in the installation’s electrical systems due to the heavy rain that occurred on the morning of the incident.
Investigating police office, PC Jack Oakley stated:
“The original assessment was of course that the cause of the fire was doubtful. On closer inspection, it appears as though the severe weather we experienced in the early hours of Friday morning caused water to seep into the structure.
PC Oakley went on to add:
“That in turn could well have resulted in an electrical fault in the lighting system on the underbelly of the structure, which was powered by a generator. I still have a few enquiries left to make but it is likely that the report’s conclusion will effectively bring my investigation to a close.”
The popular dinosaur attraction was due to start a short tour of the UK, but the fire has completely destroyed it, leaving only part of the superstructure still standing. A number of witnesses to the blaze had come forward in an attempt to help the police with their enquiries.
PC Oakley commented:
“I’d like to thank everyone who contacted the police to provide information about the possible causes of the fire.”
Sad End for the Sculpture
It is a sad end to the sculpture, the brainchild of artists Heather and Ivan Morison. The local authority is awaiting clearance from the police to remove the remains of the 53 feet long dinosaur, ironically in its sorry state it is still attracting visitors to the Common. People are curious to see the structure and to take one last picture before it is removed.
Lightning had been suspected in addition to the arson theory, again ironic as we at Everything Dinosaur have speculated on the possibility of large sauropods being susceptible to lightning strikes, after all, on an exposed fern plain in a thunderstorm, they were probably the tallest things around and they could have attracted lightning bolts.
For models and replicas of sauropod dinosaurs: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.