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New Zealand Earthquake Search & Rescue Response was “Inadequate”.

One of the key findings of a New Zealand coronial report is that more lives might have been saved in the aftermath of the earthquake in Christchurch three years ago if the search effort had been better resourced and more effectively coordinated. The coroner’s comments follow his inquiry into the deaths of eight people who survived the collapse of the CTV building, only to die beneath the rubble while waiting for help.

Other shortcomings cited by the coroner included a delay in getting search and rescue crews and their equipment from Auckland to Christchurch because the plane was too small, and confusion about resources, with rescuers on one side of the collapsed building being unaware that specialist concrete cutting equipment was available on the other side.

The coroner’s report states that: “…. more people, more resources, better communication and a better structure, would have improved the situation overall and may have improved the chances of saving more lives”.

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