Wind wrenches window from hinges

TOM HUNT
Last updated 10:55 27/05/2013
Window
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
YANKED OFF: A fifth-floor office window in Molesworth St was wrenched from its hinges and crashed to the footpath this morning.

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Wellington

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A fifth-floor office window was wrenched from its hinges and crashed to the footpath below in central Wellington this morning.

Darrell White said he was walking his 19-month-old son to daycare about 7.30am.

''I heard a sound like boards slapping together in the wind.''

He turned and caught a glimpse of a window pane falling from the Molesworth St building.

''It smashed through the sidewalk awning, sending large and small shards onto the sidewalk. There was a woman nearby who had just passed under the area. She appeared unharmed and went along with her morning routine.''

What stuck most in his mind were the shards of glass that came through the awning.

''It would have diced someone had they been walking underneath it.''

For some ''unknown reason'' he had decided to walk on the other side of the street in the rain this morning, rather than under shelter.

If he had decided to walk under shelter he could have easily been underneath when the window came down.

''It smashed through the sidewalk awning, sending large and small shards onto the sidewalk. There was a woman nearby who had just passed under the area. She appeared unharmed and went along with her morning routine.''

Keywai Construction director John Fletcher confirmed his company was earthquake strengthening the building.

He said a contractor left the window open last night by accident.

''In the high wind this morning it has wrenched it off its hinges.''

The window, approximately 1.5 metres by 800mm, hit the awning above the street, shattering its perspex.

''Potentially it could have blown out into the road. It could have been more serious.''

He said the window was usually locked.

This morning's accident has prompted the company to get a locksmith to ensure all windows are locked.

If contractors needed windows open they would have to get Keywai Construction staff to open them.

The building, Shamrock House, near Parliament, was sold by ACC last year. It still has ACC signwriting.

Contact Tom Hunt
Breaking news reporter
Email: tom.hunt@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @tomdom76

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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