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On Friday, March 4, a balcony holding 20 people collapsed at a Six60 gig. The balcony, attached to a house on Dunedin’s Castle St., fell from three meters above ground at 7.45pm, injuring 18 people.
Two people were seriously injured but are currently in a stable condition. Polytechnic student George Karamaena has broke both legs as well as his back, and second year university student Bailey Unahi is in a Christchurch hospital with spinal injuries that may prevent her from walking again.
Housing minister Nick Smith has asked for an investigation to be launched to find out why the balcony collapsed. The investigation will look into whether the design, construction, and maintenance of the balcony were up to the required standard. Alternatively, Smith said it is possible that the large number of people on the balcony during the gig exceeded what the building code requires, causing it to fall.
When the balcony collapsed, Six60 stopped playing to ensure everyone was alright, but were advised by police to keep playing to avoid panic. Six60 later tweeted saying, “very upset that people were hurt tonight. Massive thanks to the local police and security who were working with us to help keep people safe.”