Friday 9 December 2016

One of missing Irish pair may be in collapsed building

Published 24/02/2011 | 12:49

The collapsed Pyne Gould Guinness Building in central Christchurch where one of the missing Irish pair is believed to be trapped. Photo: AP
The collapsed Pyne Gould Guinness Building in central Christchurch where one of the missing Irish pair is believed to be trapped. Photo: AP
Owen McKenna, a nurse from Co Monaghan died in the devastating earthquake
A police dog searches in the rubble with his handler in Christchurch. Photo: AP

Fears are growing that one of two Irish men missing in New Zealand after the devastating earthquake is trapped in a collapsed building.

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Officials confirmed the man, who is aged in his mid-40s and is married with children, could be in the Pyne Gould Guinness building in Christchurch. He had been living in New Zealand for some time.

A second Irish man is also among the 225 people missing since the 6.3-magnitude quake hit Christchurch on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the family of a Monaghan man crushed to death in his car are preparing to fly his body home.

Psychiatric nurse Eoin McKenna, who had been living in the country for about six years, is among the 98 people confirmed dead.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it still has "serious concerns" for the two Irish men after all efforts to get in touch with them failed since the disaster struck.

Elsewhere, consular assistance is also being given to an Irish woman who was married to a British passport holder who died in the quake.

Tributes have been paid to Mr McKenna, whose car was crushed by falling debris.

Aged in his 40s, he moved abroad after marrying a woman from New Zealand and was a well-known figure in his local GAA club.

It is understood the hospital where Mr McKenna worked contacted the family in the Emyvale area of Monaghan to say he had not arrived for work after the powerful quake struck.

Press Association

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