Safety fears force diners out of building mid meal

6:06 am on 18 February 2012

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has shut another building because of safety concerns.

The building at 101 Riccarton Road houses five businesses.

Lunchtime diners at one of them, Benjarong Thai Cuisine, were asked to leave mid-meal on Friday afternoon after engineers advised owners of concerns about the safety of the building.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority general manager of operations Warwick Isaacs says engineers checked the building on Thursday and advised the authority it needed to be closed.

Mr Isaacs says the closure of the building is frustrating and upsetting for the owners and staff but the authority's main concern is for public safety.

Cordons will be put up around the building but the road in front of it, which is a main thoroughfare, will remain open.

Mr Isaacs says the authority will work with the owner to try to determine quickly if the building needs to demolished, or can be repaired.

He says he hopes that decision can be made within the next week.