Names of two further victims released in Christchurch Earthquake

Names of two further victims released in Christchurch Earthquake

National News

Police have today released the names of two further confirmed victims of Tuesday's Christchurch earthquake.

They are:
Jeff Pelesa SANFT, age 32 of Christchurch.
Andrew Christian Ross CRAIG, age 46, Christchurch.

Inspector Derek Erasmus, Christchurch city area commander, said no further names of those who have died or people who have been reported missing are able to be released at this stage.

The number of bodies in the city's temporary morgue remains at 113.

This afternoon 323 Australian police officers arrived in Christchurch. They were met by Police Commissioner Howard Broad and Superintendent Dave Cliff and sworn in with New Zealand Police constabulary powers to serve with New Zealand colleagues on the streets of Christchurch.

The officers have come from three states - South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales - as well as the Australian Federal Police.

Inspector Derek Erasmus, Christchurch City Area Commander, said police are hugely appreciative of the massive support received from colleagues and emergency service staff from all corners of the world.

"The Australians will start their duties tonight and, as a result of their presence, we are able to boost further the number of police patrols throughout the city."

This afternoon's family meeting which was held at a school in the city went for two hours. Disaster Victim Identification specialists and the Coroner were able to answer several questions about the processes being used to identify victims and the release of bodies to loved ones. About 600 people attended the meeting.

Eight people were arrested last night for breaching the cordon around the city centre. Two men who were arrested last night appeared in court today charged with the theft of two generators. They were remanded in custody to reappear on March 28.

Ends

Note: tomorrow's inter-agency media briefing is at 9.30am 25 February 2011.

Christchurch Police Media: 027 4320 960
ChchPoliceMediaLiason@police.govt.nz