At least 10 people were killed in a fire that broke out at a four-storey hostel in Wellington, on Tuesday, reported New Zealand Herald.
Urban search and rescue crews have started combing through the smouldering wreckage of a Wellington hostel where up to 10 people may have died in a horror fire overnight.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told the AM morning news program that he understands that six people have been confirmed dead and there are likely to be more.
Several unaccounted after the fire
Emergency services were called to the Loafers Lodge hostel at about 12:30 am after a fire was reported on the third floor of the four-storey building.
It has been confirmed by authorities this morning that there were no sprinklers in the building - and there are still 20 people unaccounted for, reported New Zealand Herald.
Fifty-two people in the Loafers Lodge Hostel in Wellington have been accounted for, but firefighters are still looking for others, said Wellington Fire and Emergency District Manager Nick Pyatt. He said they were called to the hostel at about 12:30 am.
"Our thoughts at this time are with the families of those who have perished and with our crews who valiantly rescued those (they could) and attempted to rescue those that they couldn't," Pyatt told reporters.
"This is our worst nightmare," Pyatt said. "It doesn't get worse than this." Police said the cause of the fire remained unexplained, and they would be investigating alongside fire and emergency officials.
50 people relocated at emergency centre
Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said it was helping about 50 people who had escaped the fire and were now at an emergency centre the council had set up at a local track that had showers and other facilities.
He said there were a number of elderly people it was helping who had escaped with only the pyjamas they were wearing.
"A lot are clearly shaken and bewildered about what happened," he said.
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