Concerns raised over time taken to find quake bodies

8:14 pm on 1 September 2011

A friend of a man killed in the Christchurch earthquake has questioned why it took two days to find the body.

An inquest being held this week is looking into the deaths of 144 victims of the 6.3-magnitude quake on 22 February.

Gregory Tobin, 25, was killed by falling debris when he rushed out of his workplace following the quake.

Friend Gary Stead asked the hearing on Thursday why it took two days recover the body when it was known exactly where he was.

Mr Stead says it was he who eventually led an Urban Search and Rescue team to the site.

Other concerns about the recovery of bodies were also raised on Thursday.

John Weild questioned why his parents, who died together, were found on different days.

Detective Inspector Paul Kench explained that the focus straight after the quake was on rescuing survivors, not recovering bodies.

However, Mr Kench did tell the families to speak to one of the officers dealing with their case, as there might be a specific reason why there was a delay.

Baby died in mother's arms

The last moments of a young woman and her baby killed in the quake were also recalled at the inquest.

Kelsey Moore, 18, was walking along the street with her month-old baby Taneysha when the quake hit.

Jason Moore asked the court if his daughter was holding his granddaughter when they died.

Coroner Gordon Matenga confirmed that it was reported Taneysha was last seen in her mother's arms before both were crushed by falling rubble.

Mr Matenga ruled they died of crush injuries that were not survivable.

Safe access to Lyttelton sought

The family of a man killed while trying to get to his family in Lyttelton after February's earthquake wants to make sure the town is not cut off again.

Owen Wright, 40, survived the quake, but was killed by boulders while trying to reach his wife and two children.

His mother, Faith Wright, who was at the inquest, says the main route into Lyttelton was shut and he was walking down a hill to his house when killed.

Ms Wright says more people could die if the town is isolated again and people try to use hill tracks to get there.