Four injured after fire at Wakari Hospital in Dunedin

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A fire at a Dunedin hospital which led to four people being taken to hospital is being treated as suspicious, Fire and Emergency New Zealand say.

The fire was lit within a secure ward at Wakari Hospital about 10am this morning, a Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) spokesman said.

Appliances from Willowbank, Roslyn and St Kilda attended the blaze.

Seven people were assessed for smoke inhalation with four taken by St John to Dunedin Hospital’s emergency department, the Fenz spokesman said

“The fire is suspicious and police are at the scene doing an investigation,” he said.

St John said they were told by FENZ couch at the facility was set on fire.

A Fenz spokesman said he knew the cause of the blaze and what was set alight, but could not comment.

A fire investigator was not required.

St John spokesman said one person suffering moderate injuries and three with minor injuries have been taken to Dunedin Hospital.

At least one St John ambulance and mutiple fire appliances were at the scene.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the fire was within one of the hospital’s wards.

“The officers are still at the scene,” she said.

“Inquiries are ongoing to determine how it began.”

When asked if the fire was suspicious, she said police “can’t confirm that at this stage”.

A Southern District Health Board spokeswoman said staff contained and extinguished a small fire in a room at ward 9A at Wakari Hospital about 10am.

The staff taken to Dunedin Hospital ED as a precaution were checked for smoke inhalation.

No patients required treatment and damage was being assessed but was thought to be minimal, she said.

The cause of the fire was being investigated.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Woman whose car plunged into the Waikato River dies

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The 60-year-old woman travelling in a ute when it plunged into the Waikato River near Cambridge has died.

The Cambridge woman who was taken to Waikato Hospital on Saturday in a critical condition and had been in ICU died on Monday afternoon, Waikato police have confirmed.

The woman and a man were travelling through the intersection of Tirau Rd and Shakespeare St in Cambridge at about 12.25pm on Saturday when their vehicle appears to have hit a roundabout near the low-level bridge and plunged into the Waikato River.

Witnesses called 111 saying they had seen two people in the water. They managed to get out of the vehicle and were quickly assisted by bystanders.

CPR was performed on the woman for about an hour and she regained a pulse and the man was also transported to Waikato Hospital in a moderate condition.

The Police Serious Crash Unit is investigating.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Two men try to lure Rotorua schoolgirls into white van

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Two men have tried to lure girls into their white van in Rotorua, and police say they have “significant concerns” as to their intentions.

Rotorua police are seeking public help to identify the two men after three girls reported two separate approaches yesterday.

Area prevention manager Inspector Stuart Nightingale said a white van pulled up alongside an 8-year-old girl who was walking home from school on Pukehangi Rd at 3.15pm.

A passenger tried to entice the girl into the van.

The driver was described as a male European aged about 45-50 and the passenger a male European aged about 18.

At 3.30pm a similar van stopped beside two 11-year-old girls on Ford Rd who were also walking home from school and a further attempt was made to entice those girls into the van.

No one was hurt, but police “hold significant concerns as to the behaviours and intentions of the occupants of this white van”.

It is described as having tinted rear windows and a black stripe or stripes running along the length of the van.

The public are urged to be vigilant and to provide any information to the Rotorua police, 111 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sunset Primary School principal Niels Rasmussen said the school wasn’t aware of the approaches, but he would make sure to get the message out.

“We regularly talk to our children about being aware, not necessarily stranger danger, but just letting them know that not everybody is a good person.”

Mr Rasmussen said his pupils were “pretty savvy” and generally travelled to and from school with parents or in groups.

“Certainly with our community, everybody knows everybody,” he said.

“If they noticed anything was up they’d step out and say something and probably send whoever it is running.”

Westbrook school principal Colin Watkins said he didn’t know what was up with “idiots in white vans”, but that there seemed to be a new alert every week.

“There have been multiple reports of people in vans,” he said.

“I think most kids, in most schools, are more aware now, unfortunately, than previous generations.

“It’s the reality we have these days, sadly, that there are occasions they’ve [the kids] got to have strategies to keep themselves safe.”

Mr Watkins said the school was in the middle of a unit called ‘Keeping ourselves safe’.

“It teaches them about emotional, physical, sexual, really all forms of abuse,” he said.

“That programme is available to all schools and was nationally put together in conjunction with police.

“Our kids are pretty well prepared.”

Earlier this month a man allegedly made two suspicious approaches to a young girl on Clayton Rd. That man was reportedly in a white ute. A man has been charged with that offending and is currently in custody on remand facing two charges of preparing to commit a crime. He will reappear in court for a bail application on August 30.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald