More bodies are expected to be pulled from the rubble in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake, a rescue worker has revealed.
The Southern Demolition employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NZPA that he had witnessed bodies being pulled from the collapsed Canterbury Television building.
“We were working on one side of the building and on that side we managed to pull one person alive but we also pulled out a body. On the other side they pulled out four or five – I don’t know if they were dead or alive.”
“It was awful,” he said.
The employee also said he feared for Japanese students of a language school based in the building.
“It was a big building and now it’s nothing. There’s got to be more inside there.”
“But who knows? There may be pockets of air everywhere.”
He said rescue personnel were working tirelessly in their search for survivors.
“Those guys are brilliant. They get in there where they shouldn’t be and if they hear anything everything is turned off while they locate where the sound is coming from,” he said.
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake has so far claimed 65 lives and injured scores more.
The Ministry of Civil Defence are asking that in order to minimise loading on the telecommunications network, people use text messaging to check if family and friends are safe.
New Zealanders in the UK who are worried about family and friends should continue to monitor the above websites, media reports and try to make direct contact. Once a national helpline has been established that number will be provided via the websites above.
British nationals concerned for British family and friends in New Zealand should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for consular advice: fco.gov.uk