• Saturday, 22 June 2024
A hostel fire in Wellington, New Zealand, has killed at least six people and left many more missing

A hostel fire in Wellington, New Zealand, has killed at least six people and left many more missing

According to New Zealand's prime minister, at least six people have died and others are still missing as a result of a fire in a hostel.

Just after midnight local time, emergency services were called to Wellington's four-story Loafers Lodge hostel (12:30 GMT Monday).

Dozens of people were rescued from the building, but police said a number of people were still missing.

Chris Hipkins warned that the death toll was likely to rise.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they discovered the top level of the building on fire. By 04:00, at least 20 fire trucks had been dispatched to assist in the extinguishment.

Wellington's worst nightmare, according to Fire and Emergency District Commander Nick Pyatt, was the fire.

Police warned that they would not be able to provide more specific information on the number of deaths until they gained access to the building.

Mr Pyatt also stated that the building contained asbestos and advised residents to wear a face mask and keep their windows closed to avoid inhaling the smoke, according to the New Zealand Herald.

"This is a tragic occurrence for everyone involved. My heartfelt condolences go out to the families of those who have died ", he explained.

According to local media, authorities rescued at least five people from the burning building's roof, and one person suffered serious injuries after jumping from the third floor to escape the flames.

According to the NZ Herald, Mr Hipkins described the fire as "tragic" and paid tribute to local firefighters "who have put themselves in harm's way over the past hours to get people out of the building and put the fire out."

"It's an absolute tragedy," he told New Zealand's AM show.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but local media reported that police were looking into whether it was set on purpose.

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