CTV Coroner’s Inquest

For the last two weeks, the coroner has been listening to evidence about trying to rescue people from the CTV building after the earthquake.

The CTV building collapsed during the February 2011 earthquake and caught on fire. More than a hundred people died at that time. However, eight people were still alive but were trapped in the rubble of the building. Rescuers were not able to save them. This is the reason for the Coroner’s Inquest, to find out why they died.

The Coroner has heard from police, fire officers and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) people. There were mistakes, USAR equipment did not arrive until the second day, it was not clear who was in command and there were arguments about what was the best thing to do. There were also very brave people who worked for many hours without a break, and volunteers who risked their lives trying to rescue people. All talked about how terrible it was and how they would never forget it.

We will have to wait for the Coroner’s report at the end of the inquest to find out why these people could not be rescued. The inquest continues next month.

Listen to May 11th 2011 to hear about this or type earthquake into the search box.


• Coroner’s inquest – a court with a judge who tries to find out how people died after an accident
• evidence – witnesses say what they saw
• rubble – concrete rubbish from the broken building
• in command – in control, the boss
• risk – in danger

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