Paul Wadsworth told of lucky escape.
Paul Wadsworth told of lucky escape.

Man tells of earthquake escape

A FORMER Ipswich man has told of his miraculous escape from a crumbling building in the heart of Christchurch during this week’s disastrous earthquake.

Former Ipswich Grammar boarding master Paul Wadsworth was nearly killed as his office in Cashel St, where the now infamous CTV building was destroyed by the 6.3 magnitude quake, crashed around him.

His parents, who currently live in Bellbird Park, were also in the city on holidays when the quake hit.

“Mr parents both have knee and hip issues and they decided to catch a bus into the city instead of trying to walk. If they did, more than likely they would be dead now,” he said.

“They just got into the bus as the quake hit and watched as the Smith City car park in Colombo St collapsed.

“I was in Cashel St when the quake hit and the building I was in shook, rattled then started to crash.

“I have no idea how I wasn’t hit by anything as bricks and concrete seemed to be raining down.

“As soon as the shaking stopped we headed outside and saw guys in trouble across from us and helped get them out. Fortunately all got out and with only minor injuries.

“I made it home to find the ceiling had come down and one end of the house is off its piles. The yard has cracks in it, the street has holes and craters all over it.”

The quake’s death toll stood at 113 yesterday, but it is expected to rise significantly with more than 200 people still missing in the city.

Mr Wadsworth lived in Ipswich for a decade before moving back to Christchurch a few years ago.

He was a futsal (indoor soccer) development officer for the city during his time here.

His home in Christchurch is still without power or water, four days after the quake.

But more alarming was that several people he knew had died, crunched in the CTV building located just metres from his office.

Cashel St was home to numerous quake victims because of its position in the heart of the Christchurch CBD.

It was unfortunately the street where falling debris killed a woman with a baby in her arms.

“I have never seen so much devastation across a large area,” Mr Wadsworth said.

“Houses are damaged, belongings in ruin, yards are cracked open, liquefaction everywhere, no water, no power, sewage, roads are undrivable.”

Mr Wadsworth told The Queensland Times that Ipswich “held a special place in his heart”.

He also thanked the city’s futsal community for the support they gave Christchurch after last September’s 7.1 magnitude quake.

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