Source: AAP | Published: Friday June 23

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.

"You feel for the families of these young people," he told ABC radio in Melbourne.

"Most of them I understand have come from countries around the world, from Korea and Japan and from Europe, some I believe from Australia as well.

"It's just a terrible tragedy.

"On behalf of the government my sympathy and concern for all those affected."