Death plunge victims new to NZ

STEVE HOPKINS, MICHELLE ROBINSON AND ROB KIDD
Last updated 14:21 04/10/2012
Fairfax NZ

A mother and her three-month-old child were killed after falling from an Auckland apartment block.

Auckland Harbour Oaks Hotel
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax Media
FATAL FALL: A woman and baby fell to their deaths from the Auckland Harbour Oaks Hotel.

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LATEST: A mother and baby who fell from an Auckland apartment block last night were Mexican and had been in the country only a couple of weeks.

The woman's husband and baby's father, who was in the country on business, flew to Auckland this morning from elsewhere in New Zealand.

He is being supported by Auckland-based Mexican Consulate staff.

Autopsies are taking place and the mother and child are not expected to be formally identified today.

The three-month-old baby and the woman, 36, died after plunging from what was believed to be the 26th floor of the Auckland Harbour Oaks Hotel and Apartments on Gore St about 5.22pm yesterday.

They had been in the complex for only a few days, a police spokeswoman said.

Officers were at the hotel this morning to "establish exactly what the circumstances were leading up to the deaths", she said.

No-one else was being sought in relation to the incident.

It has been reported that a distressed woman and child had been spotted in the hotel's lobby shortly before the tragedy.

The concierge at the building today said the swimming pool area had been cordoned off, and police were searching the room they fell from, which is covered by a tarpaulin.

A guest at the hotel said the bodies remained by the pool until about 11pm.

A woman who lives on the 20th floor said the mother and child would have fallen at least 70m.

"It's awful, it's not very nice at all... it is quite unsettling. Nobody really knows anything."

Another saw the two land just metres away from them while they were in the gym complex.

Other guests said they had heard what sounded like an explosion.

None of the guests spoken to this morning knew the dead woman.

The building's website describes it as the tallest apartment tower in New Zealand, with 38 floors of "apartment style hotel accommodation".

St John ambulance said an advanced life support ambulance crew and team manager were sent to the scene last night but the woman and baby were dead when they arrived.

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