Woman critically ill after 'unexplained' incident

03:44, Mar 15 2014
Russell St incident
SCENE: Police cordoned the flat of the injured woman, who has died in hospital.

Police are investigating how a Feilding woman received ‘‘unexplained’’ life threatening injuries that have left her in a critical condition in Palmerston North Hospital.

Emergency services were called to a flat in Russell St, Feilding, about 8.30pm on Thursday where they found a 49-year-old woman in need of urgent medical treatment.

She was taken to hospital where she remains in a critical condition.

Her home, one among a number of co-joined flats, is under police guard and is expected to remain so for the remainder of the weekend.

Tanya Pawson, who lives near the flats, said she didn’t hear anything the night of the incident other than fire engines and an ambulance arriving.

There was a fire at another property on Russell St about 7pm that evening, and the strong smell of burning rubber was in the air from a fire on nearby Gladstone St, that engulfed a pile of tyres.


The fire service were called to the flats about 8.40pm and blocked off the road on either side.

Pawson said a police car was on guard at the flats when she woke up early this morning.

She believed a couple had moved into the flat a few months ago, and had seen them with a small dog.

It was ‘‘the first time in a long time’’ they’d seen such events in the street, which was usually very quiet, she said.

Another neighbour, Scott Carr, said there was a lot of action for residents in the street that night, and he spent quite a long time with his hose turned on the Glastone St fire, which started about 6.30pm and backed on to his property.

There was a lot of noise and yelling at that time, he said.

Carr said he didn’t hear any sounds of distress coming from the flats, but he was distracted by the fire.

He didn’t see much of his neighbours and they kept mostly to themselves, he said.

‘‘That blows me away that something could happen like that right here.’’

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan, officer in charge of the Manawatu CIB, said 18 police officers and two forensic staff were investigating.

The front and back of the flat was cordoned off today, as was a gate opening on to the back of the flats.

The woman’s injuries were life-threatening and her family, from Central Hawke’s Bay, had come into town to be with her.

Her injuries were non-accidental and were not self inflicted, but he would not comment on the type or extent of her injuries.

Police were notified by Palmerston North Hospital when she was admitted, he said.

Sheridan said they were speaking to the woman’s partner, family and friends to piece together her movements prior to her hospitalisation.

Their priority was to determine how she sustained the injuries, he said.

Forensic investigators were at the house this afternoon.

It was likely to take some time to piece together the circumstances that led to the woman’s injuries, he said.

Manawatu Standard