Coroner's report due on CTV deaths

01:02, Mar 30 2014

Long-awaited coronial findings will be released tomorrow about the deaths of eight victims known to be alive after the Canterbury Television (CTV) building collapsed in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Rescuers could not reach them before they died. Coroner Gordon Matenga's report will be made public at 6am.

The three-week inquest, held in November and December 2012, involved often-emotional evidence from Urban Search and Rescue, fire fighters, police and families of the eight, who were among 115 who died in the building collapse.

The eight were: Filipino nurse Jessie Lloyd Albaracin Redoble, 25; his girlfriend, Filipino nurse Ezra Medalle, 24; Filipino nurse Emmabelle Anoba, 26; Filipino nurse Rhea Mae Sumalpong, 25; Japanese nurse Rika Hyuga, 30; Chinese nurse Chang Lai, 27; Filipino nurse Mary Louise Anne Bantillo Amantillo, 23; and Dr Tamara Cvetanova, 42, a Serbian-born paediatrician and mother of two young children, who lived in Christchurch.

Her husband, Alec Cvetanov, campaigned for a review of the CTV rescue efforts, and attended the inquest with his lawyer.

He wanted improvements to be made and for the emergency services to learn lessons. His wife contacted him on her cellphone after the building collapsed to report she had sustained minor injuries and was trapped with at least four others.

The couple kept in contact until about 11.30pm, when she turned off her phone to conserve battery power. She rang police for the final time at 12.50am, but was not found alive.

During the inquest, Fire Service operations and training director Paul McGill apologised to the families of victims unable to be rescued, saying the quake "overwhelmed" its resources.


Sunday Star Times