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Historic Timeball Station’s tower collapses

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Historic Timeball Station’s tower collapses

Lyttelton’s historic Timeball Station’s tower has collapsed following the magnitude 6 earthquake that struck Christchurch at 2.20pm today.

While some of the building remains standing, the site is too dangerous to enter at this time for an assessment of its state to take place.

Work had begun on dismantling the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) property two weeks ago, with ballasted containers and straw bales placed around the site. The immediate area had already been fenced off following the 22 February earthquake that severely damaged the 134-year-old iconic landmark.

Timeball Station staff and contractors working at the site are safe and there has been no damage reported to surrounding properties from the collapse.

“The absolute priority is ensuring public safety. Considerable care and attention had gone into the dismantling process to safeguard people as best as possible. The protection measures have been successful,” said NZHPT Chief Executive Bruce Chapman.

Along with ensuring safety, the dismantling plan was developed to help increase the likelihood of salvaging building materials to help with any potential future rebuild of the Station building, and Mr Chapman said that it is too early to speculate on the future of the Timeball Station until a full assessment has been undertaken of the site.

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