No detailed inspection of fatal building, inquiry told

9:21 pm on 29 February 2012

A property manager for the Anglican Church has faced tough questioning over her failure to ask for a detailed inspection of a building which partially collapsed, killing a woman during the devastating February 2011 earthquake.

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission is looking into the collapse of the facade of a row of four shops close to Cathedral Square which killed a Canadian tourist.

Marielle Falardeau had just visited a souvenir shop on Colombo Street when the 6.3-magnitude quake struck on 22 February, sending a large pile of bricks crashing on top of her from a height of two storeys.

A structural engineer told the commission that he carried out two brief inspections following the first big quake to hit the region on 4 September 2010 which measured 7.1 and declared the building safe to occupy.

The church's property manager, Elizabeth Clarke, was asked on Wednesday why a more detailed inspection was not carried out later, or again following a quake on 26 December last year.

Ms Clarke insisted that all the necessary repairs were carried out, but in hindsight she may have done some things differently.