Hotel ruins may stay for months
The cracked ruins of the former Copthorne Hotel in Christchurch city centre may remain for months while structural engineers investigate the cause of its collapse.
Construction workers ran for their lives on Saturday afternoon when the 10-storey hotel on Colombo St collapsed like a "pack of cards" during demolition.
The floors collapsed, but the walls on the northern and southern ends of the building still remain. The structural integrity of the remaining walls is not known, but a large crack can be seen in the base of the northern wall, which appears to be misshapen.
A Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Enterprise spokesman said a prohibition notice stopped all work on the site while engineers assess the building. It was not known when the engineering report would be complete.
The Copthorne Hotel building was in the middle of scheduled demolition by Southern Demolition and Salvage.
It is an owner-controlled demolition and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is not involved.
Cera said it would not be investigating the incident.
Southern Demolition and Salvage owner Alan Edge could not be reached for comment yesterday but told The Press on Saturday he believed the collapse was a result of the stress of the earthquakes on Christchurch buildings.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision to reject the preservation of Christchurch Cathedral?