Complaints send USAR back to CTV
Tue, 04 Dec 2012 6:38p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
An inquest in Christchurch has been told Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) workers were sent back to the CTV building after dismayed foreign diplomats in Wellington complained to the Government.
The evidence emerged at the coronial inquiry into the deaths of eight people who survived the building's collapse but died soon after.
The day after the February 22 quake, rescuers gave up all hope of finding any more survivors in the collapsed CTV building and pulled back. But just three hours later they were sent back in on orders from Wellington.
Firefighter Bryce Coneybeer was involved.
“I was informed there had been backlash to the decision in Wellington and at a couple of embassies who had voiced their concern at this decision. I assume that the embassies had learned of the decision through media coverage.”
Mr Coneybeer's evidence is in stark contrast to his boss, USAR head Jim Stuart Black, who had earlier testified there were no politicians involved.
“My recollection is there is political pressure because people abroad are watching the CTV site be vacated,” Mr Coneybeer says.
Earlier in the day, one of Mr Coneybeer's staff members, Ian Penn, was asked exactly when his crew began tunnelling into the rubble.
Mr Penn showed a hint of the frustration many USAR volunteers have felt under intense questioning during the inquest.
“I know that we were at the site at approximately 12:30am to one in the morning. Are you stating that we have done literally nothing for the next to four to five hours?”
The inquest continues this week.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
5/12/2012 8:39:35 p.m.
These guys went way beyond the call of duty. Threw the manual aside and went in using their hands and brains to do the best they could. If I was passing by I would of climbed up the rubble to do the same.A disaster of this size was going to have fatalies. I wonder if the inquiry would of been so critical if there were no foreign victims (I have some awsum foreign friends) The family of some of the foreign victims come accross with possibly an ulterior motive. Could it be linked to the foreign exchange rate? I hope not
4/12/2012 11:28:57 p.m.
Ex Fire Service Officer wrote:
USAR Head Jim Stuart Black's comment to Alec Cvetanov (as reported in the Coroner's Inquest by him) that basically -its just too bad that some people have to die in these situations -is disgusting, totally unacceptable, unprofessional and in itself shows that Mr Stuart Black is not competent to lead USAR - this comment surely ia an offence punishable by instant dismissal and should be actioned as such by Mr Stuart Black's employer the NZ Fire Service.
32 months after the first earthquake, dozens of Christchurch...
Video has emerged of a skydiving incident in Motueka last ye...
Two waterspouts have been spotted over Auckland this afterno...
The woman who first tried to lift the lid on paedophile Jame...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.