Pyne Gould reels from quake damage

Last updated 15:16 23/02/2011
Pyne Gould Corporation building
RICHARD COSGROVE/The Press
TRAPPED: Rescue workers frantically try to find those trapped inside the Pyne Gould Corporation building.

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Pyne Gould Corporation managing director Jeff Greenslade says the sight of the company's collapsed Christchurch office is "beyond words to describe".

Greenslade recently reached the site and says he's seen two people emerge alive from the rubble, adding that it looked like another was on their way just before 2.30pm.

"Remarkably the ground floor looks intact - the left hand side of the building all looks fine but everything above it has just concertinaed down."

He says only 14 staff, a group including workers from PGC as well as its subsidiaries Marac Finance and Perpetual Trust,  remain unaccounted for.

"It's got considerably better, we now have 14 staff unaccounted for most of whom we are certain are in the building, although we wouldn't rule out the possibility that one or two have gone home and are out of cellphone coverage.

"They're bringing people out quite regularly but it's a very painstaking and thorough process to make sure they're brought out safely, so it takes a while."

Greenslade says he hasn't personally seen any bodies being pulled from the four-storey building and the lowering of the number of staff missing since last night was not due to any deaths.

He says a specialist team of Australian search and rescue staff is doing a "superb job" at the site.

The building is owned by a private investor who he could not identify at the time.

He says the damage to the CBD is a "substantial leap" from the impact of the previous earthquake.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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