Christchurch Press employee seeks probe

Last updated 05:00 22/03/2011

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A Press newspaper employee, who was trapped for several hours after the February quake, wants earthquake inquiries to investigate how the newspaper's home partially collapsed.

Press employee Naomi Magee said she wanted a full investigation into what happened at The Press building in Cathedral Square where one woman died and several people were seriously injured.

The royal commission of inquiry into the Christchurch quake will include inquiries into how the Pyne Gould Corporation and CTV buildings came down, killing more than 100 people.

Magee was on the top floor of the 102-year-old Press building when the earthquake struck.

Her colleague, Adrienne Lindsay, 54, died in the building.

Magee told Campbell Live last night she was trapped for several hours, suffered concussion and might still be in shock.

She said she had feared for her safety in The Press building before the February quake.

Even though it stood up to the September 4 and Boxing Day quakes, Magee said she thought the building would not survive another big shake.

Her partner, Conrad Fitz-Gerald, said he was concerned about the extent of the damage when he was in the building five days before the February 22 quake.

"They need to work out how it came to be given the all clear," Fitz-Gerald said.

Magee said she and a number of staff felt unsafe inside the building after the previous quakes.

"I think we need to find out why that was approved to be safe," she said.

Andrew Boyle, general manager of The Press, said that at all times the structural integrity of the building was the primary consideration.

"We voluntarily evacuated on September 8 to have the building undergo further checking both by Ganellen [building owner] engineers and our own independently appointed engineers," Boyle said."We never contemplated returning until those engineering reports were completed and the building cleared for occupation both in September, and January following the Boxing Day aftershock.

"We would welcome any discussion or inquiry from the royal commission if asked by the building owners for that."

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