Rain-fuelled slip crushes building

CRUSHED: The Lyttelton Museum.
CRUSHED: The Lyttelton Museum.

A slip has crushed a Lyttelton building and seen the evacuation of a nearby resident.

The slip destroyed a building storing surplus equipment and display items for the recently demolished Lyttelton Museum about 1.30pm today, likely caused by ongoing heavy rain in the region.

A police spokesman said one resident was evacuated, but other houses in the area above the slip were red-zoned following Canterbury's earthquakes and were all unoccupied.

The slip had obstructed the main road leading to Lyttelton's port, but Christchurch City Council contractors were working to clear the road quickly and port vehicles were being detoured.

Engineers had also been sent to the scene to assess the damage and risk to neighbouring properties.

Former Lyttelton Museum curator Baden Norris said the museum itself was demolished about 12 months ago because of earthquake damage.

Today's slip destroyed a neighbouring building used to store surplus equipment and exhibits, such as display cases, maritime items and brass plaques taken off the museum building before it was demolished.

The Lyttelton Museum had housed numerous artefacts associated with the seaside town's history, including colonial, maritime and Antarctic relics, photos and models.

Most of its display items had been stored at the Air Force Museum in Wigram since the building was demolished.

*Initial report incorrectly stated the slip destroyed the museum itself.

The Press