Inquest told area fire commander missing in action

8:48 am on 7 November 2012

The most senior firefighter on duty in Christchurch during the February earthquake last year says he was too busy to organise the rescue effort at the CTV building.

Acting Area Commander Steve Barclay on Tuesday told the inquest into eight deaths at the CTV building that the lack of clarity was unsatisfactory, but he was busy doing other things.

Evidence has already been heard about the chaotic nature of the rescue effort at the site and a lack of leadership.

Mr Barclay was also criticised for spending the first four hours after the quake travelling between fire stations and emergency operations centres, and for not being reachable for much of that time.