Report: Building Toppled by New Zealand Quake Substandard

A report finds that a building that collapsed and killed 115 people during last year’s New Zealand earthquake did not meet construction standards.

The six-story Canterbury Television (CTV) building in Christchurch fell into a smoldering heap during the magnitude-6.1 earthquake on Feb. 22. Its collapse accounted for nearly two-thirds of the quake’s 184 victims.

New Zealand’s Department of Building and Housing finds in a report released Thursday that the CTV building didn’t meet minimum requirements when it was built in 1986 – and would fall far short of modern standards.

The department concluded that load-bearing concrete columns were reinforced with insufficient steel, and that the columns’ asymmetrical layout made the building twist during the quake.