A woman haunted by the fiery death of her sister in the February earthquake has lashed out at her sister's employer for failing to "front up" with support and answers over safety.

A coroner's inquest yesterday heard details of the death of teacher Gillian Sayers, 43 - one of 115 people believed to have died when the Canterbury Television (CTV) building collapsed in a magnitude-6.3 quake.

But her sister Joanne Macgregor says she and her family still do not have what they need from King's Education, which employed Ms Sayers in the building.

"I have not been approached in person by a single one of the King's school directors," Dr Macgregor said in a statement read at the inquest yesterday by Ms Sayers' partner, Matthew Boyce.


"I have received no cards or letters and not a single flower. Even without my medical training, I would know that after such a disaster that people and their families require honesty, openness and ability to front up. This has not happened at King's ... thus far."

King's Education director, John Ryder, told the Herald he sympathised with Dr Macgregor and her family, but was "mystified" at claims of lack of support. He said the school had a team of up to 10 people working around the clock after the tragedy to provide help to whoever needed it.

Ms Sayers' family were not in a "frame of mind" to attend post-quake family meetings when approached, Mr Ryder said.

Dr Macgregor said there was a "great deal of pressure" for King's staff to go back into their offices in the CTV building after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake last September.

"Gillian had concerns about the building. Like others have suggested, she felt that the building felt 'different' after the September quake. The building shook when trucks went past."

Mr Ryder said the building was deemed safe to reoccupy by the city council and engineers who surveyed it after the September quake.

The inquest heard the cause of death for Ms Sayers was crush injuries, but Dr Macgregor said she also understood her sister suffered burning before her death.

"I am a doctor and my mind is full of pictures of what happened to my sister in that building on that day. I don't feel the pictures will ever go away."


Yesterday's inquest, before coroner Gordon Matenga, heard evidence of 21 deaths in the CTV building. Mr Matenga has asked the victims' families to consider if they want further investigation by him to follow a royal commission of inquiry into building failures in the February quake.

Prue Taylor, whose husband, Brian, was a King's director until he died in the building collapse, said she felt she had all the information she was likely to get.

"Nothing's going to make anything come back again, or anybody come back again. So it is about moving on."

The inquests continue today.