WELLINGTON, New Zealand — At the very least six individuals had been killed after a fireplace erupted in a single day Tuesday in a hostel in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins mentioned.
“It’s an absolute tragedy,” Mr. Hipkins informed reporters at Parliament on Tuesday. “It’s horrific state of affairs.”
The reason for the fireplace was nonetheless being investigated. There can be “various investigations” into the catastrophe, the prime minister mentioned.
The hostel has no sprinklers, and the fireplace alarm didn’t go off mechanically, based on Brendan Neally, a fireplace service spokesman, informed Radio New Zealand.
4 individuals had been hospitalized, one in a critical situation, and 52 residents had been rescued, 5 from the roof of the four-story constructing.
The full variety of confirmed lifeless shouldn’t be but recognized as a result of the constructing remains to be not protected for cops or firefighters to enter, Inspector Dean Silvester, a police spokesman, mentioned in an announcement.
About 90 firefighters battled the blaze at its peak, and the fireplace was put out about 6 a.m.
New Zealand’s social welfare company had used the hostel for emergency housing for its shoppers. Residents of the hostel, which offers low-cost short- and long-term lodging in 92 rooms, had been “pretty transient,” Inspector Silvester informed reporters.
The blaze was a “as soon as in a decade” occasion for town, mentioned Nick Pyatt, the fireplace and emergency district supervisor for Wellington. “It’s the worst nightmare for us,” he added.
On Tuesday morning, firefighters had been nonetheless on the website of the fireplace, lower than a mile from the middle of town, and Adelaide Highway — a busy arterial connection to town — was closed off.