Thursday, February 24, 2011

[pima.nius] NZ: Rescuers resume work among CTV ruins

10:28 AM |

Title – 7277 NZ: Rescuers resume work among CTV  ruins
Date – 24 February 2011
Byline – Catherine Masters/Amelia Wade
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – The New Zealand Herald, 24/2/11
Copyright –NZH
Status – Unabridged
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By Catherine Masters and Amelia Wade

CHRISTCHURCH (The New Zealand Herald/Pacific Media Watch): Rescuers last night returned to the site of the Canterbury Television (CTV)  building to sift through the rubble despite police previously saying they were "100 per cent sure" there were no survivors after Tuesday's earthquake, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The site had been deemed too dangerous for rescuers with fears more of the building could collapse and they pulled out to focus on another building around 1.30pm yesterday.

However, police issued a release early this morning saying work at the site had resumed and Civil Defence Minister John Carter later told media that Urban Search and Rescue crew had been able to return with equipment to secure the building.

Police stressed the work was a recovery operation as more survivors were not expected, but said the teams always remained hopeful.

More than 100 people were believed to be still in the building, which housed the regional television station, a nursing school and a language school, although Carter said authorities did not have a figure for how many people could be inside.

"We don't know what is in the CTV building until we investigate," he said.

Overnight no more survivors have been found at the site, however "a few more bodies" had been pulled from the rubble, Superintendent Russell Gibson said.

Last night, diggers were moving into the site in what appeared to be initial attempts to clear the rubble.

On a Facebook page for people associated with CTV, police were heavily criticised for giving up on the recovery and announcing there was no hope of finding more people alive.

Nancy Wu, whose husband Paul is among those caught in the building, said the news was devastating.

Cindy Gibb, whose CTV journalist husband Sam was also in the building, said: "I know the chances are really slim, but they are giving up too soon".

The search was called off after rescue operations head Inspector Dave Lawry said police were 100 per cent sure the building was unsurvivable.

* According to another New Zealand Herald report, 24 people had been rescued, seven bodies recovered and more than 100 people were missing. The Herald today profiled four journalists believed to be among the earthquake victims: CTV managing director Murray Wood, TV presenter Jo Giles, reporter Samuel Gibb and presenter-producer Donna Manning.

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