Collapse of CTV like 9/11 - witness
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 6:08p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
A witness has likened the collapse of Christchurch’s CTV building to the way New York’s twin towers came down in the terrorist attack.
Michael Williams made the startling comparison as he told the Royal Commission how he found himself trapped in the middle of instant devastation and horrific noises.
On February 22, 2011, Mr Williams witnessed the collapse from his office over the road. He says what played out in front of him was surreal.
“It was exactly like seeing the collapse of the World Trade Centre buildings. The top floated down and was engulfed by dust.”
Canterbury Television presentation director Tom Hawker had popped out to buy his lunch from a dairy across the road.
It was a decision that most likely saved his life, as he was walking back to work the quake struck - right in front of him, the building he'd worked in for four years twisted, lurched and then pancaked down on itself.
“It collapsed in 12 seconds,” he says.
Penelope Spencer was with Mr Hawker. She told the commission hearing that as soon as the quake struck, the building was doomed.
Leonard Fortune was weather-proofing the exposed western wall of the CTV building. He was up on a scissor lift 3m off the ground when the building started to collapse.
“I glanced up and saw a piece of concrete falling towards me. I tried to push it out of the way but in doing so I ended up pushing myself off it onto the ground. I curled up next to the scissor lift for protection.”
Afterwards, Mr Hawker said reliving that day was difficult. He lost 16 colleagues and friends, but it was because of them that he chose to give evidence.
“I think its important because you're obviously speaking for the ones that aren't able to speak, but it is really hard going through it all again, because you get to a point where you want to move on.”
But with eight more weeks of evidence still to be heard, moving on isn't going to be easy.
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27/06/2012 2:38:18 p.m.
Uh, not quite the same. The buildings may have fallen in the same manner, but the WTC was attacked by terrorists. Big difference.
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