Christchurch explosion: Cordons reduced as residents return home

Cordons around the area where a massive gas explosion occurred on Friday in Christchurch have been reduced.

On Friday, an explosion on Marble Ct in Northwood obliterated a house, caused damage to multiple others and left six in hospital.

Cordons were quickly put into place around the area and roughly 50 residents were initially evacuated. 

Superintendent Lane Todd, the Canterbury Metro area commander, said on Saturday afternoon that police had working at the scene alongside investigators from WorkSafe and Fire and Emergency (FENZ).

While the scene examination will continue on Sunday, cordons have been reduced to only include Marble Ct houses. Outer cordons have been stood down and some residents are returning home.

"Police would like to thank all those affected by the evacuations for their patience and cooperation as we have worked at the scene alongside our colleagues from FENZ and WorkSafe," Todd said.

"A police presence will remain in Marble Court overnight."

FENZ said on Friday that the destruction was caused by a gas explosion. Just the day before, a gas contractor had been working at the property. He's made himself known to police, NZME reported, and is said to be "devastated" by what happened.