Death toll from the Christchurch earthquake rises to 76
The death toll from the devastating Christchurch earthquake has risen to 76.
Between 60 and 120 people are believed to be trapped in the Canterbury TV building, and between 16 and 22 are believed trapped in Cathedral Square.
Canterbury district commander Dave Cliff said bodies were still being recovered from the wreckage.
“We can confirm there are 76 bodies at the temporary morgue, but we know there are more bodies to be recovered and we are in the process of doing that,” he said.
He said special equipment was being used to find people in the rubble.
“They’re using sonic equipment, dogs and camera equipment … so they can look in these crevices. So far it remains a rescue operation. There could be people alive. That process really requires quiet. We ask helicopters and aircraft to stay well away from the CBD.”
New Zealand Police Minister Judith Collins has commended rescue workers for their efforts.
She described the Canterbury TV site as a “scene of utter devastation.”