Police assess report into collapse of Canterbury TV Building

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Police have received a report and briefing from the Department of Building and Housing into the collapse of the Canterbury Television Building in Christchurch in the earthquake of February 22 2011.Police assess Department of Building and Housing report into collapse of Canterbury Television Building

February 9, 2012, 4:55 pm

Police have received a report and briefing from the Department of Building and Housing into the collapse of the Canterbury Television Building in Christchurch in the earthquake of February 22 2011.

115 people died in the CTV building, which housed a language school, medical centre, Relationship Services and a nurse training school as well as Canterbury Television.

Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess says a large volume of information has been handed to Police:

“We will first seek legal advice on the report and also carry out our own preliminary assessment.

“This advice and assessment will determine the next steps, which may include assigning the file to a lead investigator.

“Soon after the earthquake Police met with Department of Building and Housing (DBH) officials. This was to develop a process so DBH could refer matters to Police should it be felt necessary. This is what has now occurred.

“DBH are the technical experts on building issues in New Zealand and we will continue to work with the department in this matter.

“The material provided to Police is technical and complex. It will take some time to interpret and understand. At this stage I am unable to put any timeframes on when the assessment might be complete.

“Police are very mindful of the many families from both New Zealand and overseas who have lost loved ones in the CTV building.

“They can be assured we will be very thorough in our approach to establish if there is any criminal liability for the collapse of the CTV building.

“It would be wrong however to suggest that our assessment will naturally lead to criminal charges. The threshold for establishing criminal liability is extremely high. The passage of time and the various intervening events are likely to make establishing criminal liability very challenging,” said Assistant Commissioner Burgess.

ENDS

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