Blaze at NZICC causes chaos in Auckland CBD

A major fire at the construction site of the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) in Auckland has caused chaos in the CBD today with workers fleeing and thick black smoke billowing across the city.

Twenty fire trucks are on the scene this afternoon with warnings to avoid the CBD. Nearby offices and the Sky Tower next door have also been evacuated.

The blaze is believed to have been caused by a worker using a blowtorch “to heat and seal waterproofing material”.

Mayor Phil Goff attended the scene, telling Newshub that the “flames don’t look to be under control at all at the moment”.

“It’s burning on top of the roof but the source of the fire may well be under the roof. There will be quite a lot of damage but hopefully no threat to life.”

SkyCity released a statement saying the fire was still “not yet under control”.

“We can confirm that everyone has been evacuated from the [building] and there have been no reported injuries,” they said.

Steve Armitage, general manager – destination at ATEED, said they are currently assessing the situation and the damage.

“We are obviously concerned by the situation unfolding and hope that everyone working onsite is safe and accounted for,” he said. “At this stage, until we understand the extent of the damage, we are not in a position to comment on the potential impact this may have on the opening of the NZICC.”

The latest incident is a major setback for the NZ$700 million building which had already pushed back its opening time to the latter half of next year.