Convention centre in Auckland goes up in flames

Future business under threat, including APEC event

shauckland251019The APEC 2021 is scheduled to be held in Auckland.

AUCKLAND - SkyCity Auckland convention centre has gone up in flames with firefighters battling the flames for the fourth day running.

The centre has been severely damaged and there are expectations that upcoming convention and meeting business, including an APEC CEOs meeting scheduled for November 2021, may have to be moved to another location. 

There are reports that the building's roof has partially collapsed, and the basement car park flooded with water. 

At its peak, 150 firefighters and 30 fire appliances battled the blaze in the US$700 million convention centre, which was still under construction. SkyCity said its casino, both its hotels, the Sky Tower and all its restaurants remained closed.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said APEC 2021 would still be held in Auckland, but the venue was a point of discussion for Government.

"New Zealand has hosted APEC before ... without a convention centre. We had contingency in place," she said.

Officials refused to speculate on how the fire started, but workers said they believed an unattended blowtorch could have ignited the straw-like acoustic layer, quickly spreading to the roof's bitumen membrane, the NZ Herald reported.


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