NEW ZEALAND: Reverberations over TV Station Collapse

A Department of Building and Housing investigation has found the Canterbury TV building that collapsed in the February earthquake did not meet building standards when it was built in 1986.  This finding has led to numerous calls for justice by family and friends of the 115 people who died in the collapse.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the report found that the collapse was due to weak concrete support columns and stabilizing walls causing the building to twist excessively, resulting in one or more columns failing due to the force placed on them.

Controversy over the validity of these reports has also surfaced, coming from the firms involved with its construction, Williams Construction and Alan Reay Consultants.  Dr. Reay said, “Personally I feel incredibly torn. I have huge empathy for the families waiting for answers, but these reports are technically inadequate.”

The findings have since been passed onto the police to ascertain if there is criminal liability by any parties for the collapse and deaths. The police have begun to seek legal advice on this report, stating that the “threshold for establishing criminal liability was extremely high.”  If liability can be established, potential offenses include criminal nuisance and manslaughter.

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New Zealand Herald

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