Dunedin balcony collapse - Government orders investigation

Up to 1500 people crammed into the surprise Six60 concert near Dunedin on Friday.

Up to 1500 people crammed into the surprise Six60 concert near Dunedin on Friday.

An investigation has been launched into a balcony collapse during a Six60 gig that left 18 students injured.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had been asked to investigate and report back to the Government on the cause of the collapse.

A video has emerged showing fans at a Six60 gig in Dunedin struggling to hold up a balcony that had collapsed into the crowd.

Witnesses described scenes of "carnage" and a "big crack" as a balcony fell, leaving 18 people injured – two seriously – at a surprise Six60 gig attended by about 1500 people on Castle St, Dunedin, at about 7.45pm on Friday.

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"We need to establish whether the balcony that collapsed was up to the standards required by law under the Building Code," Smith said.

"Structural failure of buildings are rare in New Zealand but every incident of this sort needs to be thoroughly investigated to establish whether there were failings and whether our building systems are working as they should."

The investigation would look at whether the design, construction and maintenance of the balcony was up to the required standard, and had been asked to establish why it collapsed.

"It is possible that the balcony did meet standards but that the loading from the large number of students on it was in excess of what the Building Code requires. I am open to all possibilities but want to ensure we do everything possible to avoid these sorts of building accidents."

A preliminary report is due by the end of March.

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Dunedin City Council was also investigating and Smith said MBIE would work with the council on its own investigation.

 - Stuff

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