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Newtown fire: scene examination underway, two bodies recovered

Loafer's Lodge news
Image – screenshot, Google Maps

Police have today recovered two deceased from Loafers Lodge in Newtown, following the fatal fire earlier this week.

Recovery of further deceased from the building is expected to take place tomorrow (Friday 19 May).

Police can confirm Adelaide Road will partially re-open from 6am tomorrow.

The southbound lane will be open, under stop-go traffic management.

Police would again like to thank Wellingtonians – particularly those who work and live in the impacted area – for their support and cooperation this week while the road was fully closed.

Any further updates will be provided at the earliest opportunity.

Beginning of scene examination this morning

A reconnaissance team conducted an initial, preparatory examination of the building yesterday afternoon.

The team reported significant damage to the interior of the building, confirming debris up to one metre high in some places.

‘The scene examination, which will involve Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) officers, will be a methodical and painstaking process,’ said Inspector Dion Bennett, Acting Wellington District Commander.

‘The recovery of those who lost their lives in the fire will be the immediate priority for the team, and that recovery is expected to begin today.’

The scene examination is expected to take several days.

Once the scene examination is complete, an assessment will have to be made as to whether it is safe for property in the building to be retrieved and returned to residents.

Included in these considerations will be any health and safety risks to residents in returning items which may have been contaminated by fire damage and asbestos.

‘We will work with Wellington City Council to ensure that residents are kept up to date with information in this regard.

‘Any residents with concerns or questions are asked to contact the property manager about access or the Wellington City Council Welfare team via the WCC contact centre on 04 499 4444.

‘This is an incredibly difficult time for all those impacted by this tragedy, particularly those who are still waiting for news of their loved ones.

‘I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to recover those who lost their lives as quickly as possible, so that identification processes can commence and we can get you the answers you need.’

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Source:NZ Police

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