New Zealand – Dormitory fire: At least six dead

The fire broke out at midnight local time, above the Loafers Lodge hostel in the Newtown neighborhood of the capital Wellington.

It left enormous material damage, and six people lost their lives. Authorities warned that the death toll may rise, as eleven people are still missing.

52 people were rescued.

– There was a large amount of debris coming from the collapsed roof, but at this stage we have located six people, fire service chief Bruce Stubbs said at a news conference, according to Reuters news agency.

– Our worst nightmare

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but police are treating the incident as suspicious, Reuters wrote further.

– For Wellington, this is a once-in-a-decade kind of fire. This is our worst nightmare, emergency manager Nick Pyatt said in a written statement.

He described it as a “tragic event for all involved”.

– My deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

At least six people are said to have died after a fire broke out at a large hostel in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington.. Video: Twitter @syncmedia24. Reporter: Anabelle Bruun / Dagbladet TV.
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– Complete tragedy

The fire service is working on the hypothesis that fewer than ten people have lost their lives, but are still working to identify all guests who were in the hostel when the fire occurred.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins visited the scene on Tuesday.

– This is a real tragedy and the situation is dire, he told reporters after the visit.

80 firefighters and 20 fire engines were deployed to put out the fire.

Guest: – Had to jump

One of the guests at the hostel, Tala Sili, said he saw smoke seeping under the door. He opened the door and was greeted by a smoke filled corridor. He decided to jump out of the window and onto the roof two floors below.

– That’s just scary. It was so scary. But I knew I had to jump out the window so as not to burn inside, he told the Radio New Zealand broadcaster.

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