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Public advised to keep clear of Sir James Wattie Place after fire

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Hastings District Council and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones are advising members of the public to stay away from the old Hastings railway building on Sir James Wattie Place following a fire at the building in the early hours this morning. 

Building materials include asbestos containing sheets that potentially pose a risk to health if fibres are inhaled, he said.

Hastings District Council advised that the building site was being kept damp to contain asbestos fibres while site containment and clean-up operations were underway.

As an additional precaution Hastings District Council has closed Sir James Wattie Place until Kiwi Rail’s contractors have cleaned up any debris that may have been deposited down wind of the fire. 

The adjacent Carters building closed earlier than its normal 12.30pm Saturday closing time as a precaution.

Fine particle samples were also being tested to ensure that there was no ongoing risk to the public or people working in neighbouring areas.

New Zealand Police are making inquiries to establish the cause of the fire.

Hastings District Council will continue to monitor the scene. Kiwi Rail has arranged to clean up the site and keep it safe.

If any members of the public have any health concerns please call Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

21 September 2019

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