Investigation continuing into Christchurch explosion

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Investigation continuing into Christchurch explosion

Fire and Emergency is continuing to investigate the cause and origin of the gas explosion in the Christchurch suburb of Northwood on 19 July.

Over the past week representatives of Fire and Emergency, WorkSafe, the Police and the insurance industry have worked together to reconstruct large portions of the house in which the blast occurred to gain a clearer picture of what happened.

The cause of the blast has not yet been definitively established. Fire and Emergency Christchurch Metro Area Commander David Stackhouse indicated that the investigation will likely continue over the coming weeks and will include the testing of several items of interest found at the blast site.

During the investigation personal belongings, including photo albums, have been recovered from a number of the properties badly affected by the explosion and returned to their owners.

"For many families photographs are their most important belongings," Mr Stackhouse said. 

"Those working on the investigation were delighted that they were able to reunite many of the people affected by the explosion with these irreplaceable items."

The scene of the incident remains under guard while the investigation continues.

If you have concerns about your gas system, contact your gas retailer or a licensed gas worker to check the installation. If you notice a gas smell that persists after you turn off your gas appliances or supply, get outside to a safe place and call 111. For more information and tips about gas safety visit www.gassafety.org.nz.

For more information contact Fire and Emergency Media. Email: media@fireandemergency.nz or phone: 027 591 8837.