Southern Transport loses sheds, roofs collapse under weight of snow

BY MARK HOTTON
Last updated 05:00 20/09/2010
Lionel Wood
ROBYN EDIE/Southland Times
DAMAGE DONE: Southern Transport operations manager Lionel Wood in front of the crumpled remains of two workshops at its Otepuni Ave yard.

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Moving to a new yard this month proved fortuitous for an Invercargill firm at the weekend.

Southern Transport lost two large storage sheds at its Otepuni Ave site, the roofs collapsing under the weight of the snow.

Operations manager Lionel Wood said a mechanic had been working in a nearby building when the first building blew apart.

He was staring in amazement at the crumpled shed when he heard what sounded like a freight train roaring through another building – it turned out to be Stadium Southland collapsing more than six blocks away.

The 500m2 building had a small loader and other equipment in it.

Part of the roof of another 1000m2 building on the side collapsed and the front doors buckled on Saturday. The remainder finally gave way yesterday morning, just after staff had given up trying to recover a vehicle because they felt it was unsafe.

Mr Wood said the company moved a week ago to a new site in Spey St, which meant staff were at that yard. If they had not moved, more staff would have been in and around the buildings and there would have been more vehicles in the workshops, he said.

"It is pretty lucky, really."

Thousands of dollars' damage had been caused but it was too soon to say whether the workshops would be rebuilt, Mr Wood said.

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