Wed, February 23, 2011
World > Asia-Pacific > Earthquake rocks New Zealand

Earthquake rescue operation over at CTV building

2011-02-23 05:30:42 GMT2011-02-23 13:30:42(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Police believe there are no survivors in the earthquake-damaged Canterbury TV building in Christchurch, rescue operations head Inspector Dave Lawry said on Wednesday afternoon.

The search for bodies in the building has been called off. At least two Chinese students and several Japanese students are believed to be among those who have died in the building collapse.

Jinlong Chan, who is Christchurch city consular, told Xinhua on Wednesday that there are two Chinese students and one Taiwanese in the rubble.

New Zealand Police said they were preparing for the recovery phase.

The building is one of many severely damaged after a 6.3-magnitude quake struck at 12:51 p.m. on Tuesday, killing at least 75 people and causing widespread destruction.

Operation commander Inspector Dave Lawrie said finding survivors in the CTV building on Wednesday is now unlikely.

Lawrie said rescuers now need to concentrate their resources elsewhere in areas where survivors are more likely to be found.

He sent his condolences to all families of people trapped inside building, many of whom were from overseas.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Fire Service estimated there could be about 50 people unaccounted for in the rubble.

Previously, it was reported that 15 people had been rescued, but this was later retracted

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