New Zealand Auckland convention centre blaze under control: SkyCity

2019-10-23 19:34:41

(Reuters) – A massive fire that ripped through a convention centre under construction in Auckland has been brought under control after nearly two days, owner SkyCity Entertainment Group said on Thursday.

The blaze began on Tuesday at the construction site of the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC), being built by the country’s largest construction firm, Fletcher Building Ltd.

SkyCity said fire and emergency service teams will stay on site at the NZ$703-million ($452-million) project until the fire is successfully extinguished and the site can be handed back to Fletcher.

It planned later on Thursday to reopen some parts of the SkyCity Auckland precinct that had been evacuated and would resume normal business operations in a phased approach.

Fletcher Building said on Wednesday it would investigate the cause of blaze and the extent of the damage once the fire was extinguished, but expected a “material delay” in competing the project.

The centre had been slated to host major world leaders and events for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in 2021. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand would still host the APEC conference, at the centre or an alternate venue.

(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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