Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Four charged in deadly biker brawl at Sydney airport

AP , SYDNEY

Police defended security levels at Australia’s largest airport yesterday after a man was beaten to death during a brawl by suspected rival biker gangs in one of Sydney’s busiest terminals.

Four men were charged in connection with the violence that occurred midday Sunday in front of dozens of terrified travelers.

State authorities held urgent meetings yesterday to consider introducing tougher laws against biker gangs, amid fears of an escalating gang war that has included drive-by shootings and a blast outside a fortified Hell’s Angel’s clubhouse.

New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees announced the state police anti-gang squad would be boosted to 125 members from its current 50 in response to the violence and ordered it to focus on the rising violence between biker gangs.

Senator Bill Heffernan, a senior opposition lawmaker, said the fight suggested there were serious holes in Sydney Airport’s security and that a Senate committee should investigate.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty admitted the violence took them by surprise but said police officers responded quickly to emergency phone calls for help.

“The police can’t be everywhere all the time and this is an event that could have happened anywhere in Australia,” Keelty told reporters.

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