A Christchurch woman trapped for six hours in a building that collapsed in the New Zealand earthquake has married her fiancé just days after being rescued.
Emma Howard was thrown from her office chair in Christchurch’s Pyne Gould Corporation building by the force of Tuesday’s 6.3 magnitude earthquake.
As Emma lay trapped by the rubble for six hours, curled into “a foetal position”, her fiancé Chris Greenslade ran to the building and began frantically digging by hand to find his bride-to-be in the ruins.
As he searched, Chris received news that Emma was alive. She had been able to use her phone to contact colleagues while buried beneath the building.
Emma was eventually rescued by British volunteer, Carl Stockton.
Despite Emma’s boss being killed, the couple decided to go ahead with their wedding today as a sign of hope after the tragedy.
They tied the knot today at Christ the King Catholic Church in Burnside. The wedding was attended by all the guests on their original invitation list although many of them bore injuries from the earthquake.
After the ceremony, Emma’s father told The Daily Telegraph: “She was determined to ahead with it; she said she would have even had fish and chips at the reception if the caterers couldn’t make it.”
Emma had an emotional reunion with her rescuer, Carl Stockton, on her way to the church.
“She’d been so, so lucky and I was very happy for her,” Stockton told the paper.
So far 113 people have been confirmed dead in Tuesday’s earthquake and with more than 200 still missing the death toll is expected to rise.
The rescue effort continues.