More evidence heard on PGC checks

12:06 pm on 5 December 2011

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission has heard from the employer of the engineers who declared the PGC building was safe to enter in the months before it collapsed in the earthquake on 22 February.

Eighteen people were crushed to death in the rubble of the building, the second greatest loss of life in any of the buildings which collapsed that day.

The commission last week heard from two inspectors from Holmes Consulting who cleared the PGC building as safe to occupy following the first earthquake on 4 September and said they would not have done anything differently if they were asked to carry out the inspection today.

On Monday it was the turn of their boss, Holmes Consulting director Henry Hare, to face questioning.

He said the building owner asked only for an initial damage inspection and this was the reason a more thorough investigation was not carried out.

Mr Hare said that if a more in-depth report on the strength of the building had been asked for, his engineers would have looked at the building plans and previous reports by their own firm which showed the building was potentially earthquake prone.