Families question CTV collapse apology
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 6:59a.m.
The families of Christchurch quake victims who died in the Canterbury Television (CTV) building collapse are querying an apology from the man who heads the company that designed the building.
Alan Reay, of Alan Reay Consultants, read out a statement to the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission inquiry in Christchurch on Tuesday, saying he felt for those who had lost loved ones in the "terrible tragedy".
"I've spent my life working in engineering and have always tried to maintain the highest standards of the profession," he said.
"I apologise to all the families affected as this building did not meet my standards."
Previously during the inquiry, which is into its seventh week on the CTV building collapse, Mr Reay produced records to show he had worked only three hours on the CTV project and it was mainly the responsibility of one of his senior engineers, David Harding.
The collapse of the six-storey building in the February 2011 earthquake killed 115 people.
Murray Grant, who lost his wife Elizabeth in the building, told The Press that while the apology was better than nothing, he questioned its sincerity.
"It's been tough going getting him to say it. They've had him on the stand a couple of times already.
"It's almost like someone told him to do it. I think he should've said it a lot earlier."
Brian Kennedy, whose wife Beverley died in the building, said the apology was a start and offered him some comfort.
"I just hope he hasn't said it as perhaps he sees himself as being pushed into a corner by the council."
The inquiry has also been told that city council consents officer Graeme Tapper had come under pressure from his council superior to sign off the CTV plans in 1986 despite raising earthquake risk concerns.
Mr Harding told the inquiry on Tuesday that the concerns raised by Mr Tapper suggested the drawings submitted to the council had not been finished, Fairfax reported.
Mr Harding had not seen the drawings, believed to have been prepared by draughtsman Wayne Strachan, before they were submitted to the council a month after the original permit application.
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