CTV building coming down

GILES BROWN
Last updated 05:00 12/05/2011
CTV demolition
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press

FINAL DAYS: Demolition is under way at the Canterbury Television lift shaft, all that remains of the building in which 116 people died.

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Christchurch earthquake

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The remnants of the Canterbury Television building, where 116 people died during the February earthquake, are being demolished.

Those killed when the central Christchurch building collapsed make up more than half of the quake death toll of 181.

Diggers have begun ripping down the charred lift shaft, which became an eerie symbol of the disaster.

Investigators have finished analysing the wreckage as part of the royal commission of inquiry into why city buildings collapsed.

Maree Lucas, wife of Shawn Lucas, a CTV production manager who died in the building, said she felt some relief that it was coming down.

"It's a reminder of the devastation. You can see the burnt-out lift shaft, and it's not a very nice reminder."

She said she would like to visit the site in the future.

"To have it just as a memorial place would be nice, or a place where you can go and sit."

David Beaumont, father of victim Matthew Beaumont, who worked as a CTV programme scheduler, said the demolition made little difference to him.

"It's not a shrine, is it? A building is a building. It's just a place where things happened."

He wanted to see a quake memorial built in the central city, although he was not sure whether it could be on the CTV site, which was privately owned.

An inquest for the nine people from the CTV building whose bodies have not been formally identified will begin in Christchurch on Monday.

The demolition of the building is expected to be finished by the weekend.

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- The Press

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