Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Quake-damaged lift shaft forces street closure

Photo / File
Photo / File

A quake-damaged carpark lift shaft has forced the closure of a central Wellington street.

Luke's Lane, off Manners Street, was closed by the council yesterday, but it had no authority to force residents out of buildings on the street, Radio New Zealand reported.

The lift shaft in the James Smiths parking building has become detached from the building following Sunday's 6.5 magnitude earthquake.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean told RNZ there were "quite a few" apartments, organisations and businesses in the area.

"It's potentially a large number, especially when you take into account that some of the organisations in there are quite busy and have a lot of people coming and going."

The street closure would disrupt a large number of people for a few days, he said.

Council engineers and building inspectors have been assessing the lift shaft.

"We're obviously at the moment trying to decide whether it's easier to get a crane and demolish this lift shaft or do something to tie it back to the building," Mr MacLean said.

That decision would be made today.

The council was urging people to evacuate surrounding buildings, but it could not force them to leave, Mr MacLean said.

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