Loafers Lodge fire: Police still searching for more victims of fatal blaze


Police are still searching for more victims of the fatal fire at the Loafers Lodge hostel in Wellington, as forensic scene examinations continue.

It has been six days since the blaze in the Newtown building that claimed at least five lives, and police now estimate the total number of deaths to be fewer than 10.

In a statement this evening, police said that "progress is slow but ongoing today" at the scene.

They said formal identification of the victims is moving swiftly.

"Overnight weather has meant extra checks have been needed to ensure the safety of the building and areas where teams are working, and police are working alongside Urban Search and Rescue to do this."

On Saturday a fifth body was taken away and Inspector Dion Bennett said they were expecting the scene examination to extend well into next week.

He asks anyone who lodged a missing persons report, but who has since made contact with that person, to tell police.

A man appeared in court on Friday charged with two counts of arson, and police have not ruled out further and more serious charges.