At least six dead in Wellington hotel fire

New Zealand: At least six dead in a fire at a hotel in Wellington

At least six people died when a fire broke out in a hotel in central Wellington this morning, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Mr. Hipkins spoke of an “absolute tragedy”, expressing concern that the number of victims will become even heavier.

The fire department spoke of 52 survivors, some of whom had taken refuge on the roof of the hotel.

“There are people we do not yet know what happened, but their number, like the number of deaths, cannot be confirmed at this time,” the Oceania country’s fire service said.

Mr. Hipkins emphasized in a morning broadcast of the country’s television station that the police warned him that the death toll might exceed ten dead.

Police said they would not release more information until the 92-room high-rise hotel was safe, adding that there was a risk of its roof collapsing.

The fire broke out on the top floor of the Loafer Lodge hotel in Wellington’s Newtown district just after midnight [τοπική ώρα]. The causes remain unknown at this stage.

Fire chief Nick Pyatt called it a “tragic event” and offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims, calling it a “once-in-a-decade fire” and our “worst nightmare”.

Source: by

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