Emergency Crews Respond to Deadly Hostel Fire in Wellington

Several people died when a fire tore through a hostel in Wellington, New Zealand, in the early hours of Tuesday, May 16, according to local authorities.

The blaze broke out at Loafers Lodge on Adelaide Road at around 12:30 am, Wellington District Police said.

Police said their “initial assessment” was that “fewer than 10” people had been killed in the blaze, but that they could not confirm those numbers until they access the building.

Police said they were using community reports to help determine who was in the building at the time of the blaze.

“We are aware of information circulating relating to number of deceased and number of unaccounted for, however, until more is known Police will not be in a position to confirm numbers,” police said.

Footage by Zachary Ghazally shows the fire burning at Loafers Lodge on Tuesday morning.

New Zealand media reported “transient” people and hospital shift workers were among 48 people staying at the hostel on May 16.

Mayor Tory Whanau and the Wellington City Council said people who escaped the fire were taken to a shelter where they were provided with food, showers, and clothes.

The cause of the fire was unknown but being investigated, police said. Credit: Zachary Ghazally via Storyful

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