Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire fire team deployed to Christchurch earthquake

Some of the firefighters standing in front of a fire engine
The firefighters will assist in the search and rescue of people still trapped inside buildings

A team of Hampshire firefighters has been deployed to the New Zealand city of Christchurch following the devastating earthquake there.

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city at 12:51 local time (23:51 GMT) on Monday.

The nine-strong team will help in the search and rescue of people still trapped inside buildings as part of a UK emergency response team.

The firefighters are part of a 63-strong team from 13 UK fire services.

The Hampshire team has previously assisted during the Haiti earthquake, as well as at disasters in Indonesia and Iran.

It will take food, water and shelter for fire crews so the UK rescue operation does not impact on New Zealand resources.

Group manager Pete Crook and Paul Murray from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service left for New Zealand on Tuesday night, with the seven others due to fly out later.

Firefighter Lee Giffard said: "There will be search equipment so that we can find victims that may be entombed, breaking and breaching equipment, shoring equipment, things like that, so we can safely get people out wherever they may be trapped."

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