Auckland firefighters have spent the night battling a huge fire that broke out on the roof of a new US$450 million International Convention Centre being built by SkyCity Entertainment Group.
The blaze broke out on Tuesday afternoon after a construction worker reportedly left a blowtorch unattended, sending thick black smoke billowing across the Auckland skyline. The size of the fire saw workers across the city warned to stay inside and close all windows.
SkyCity was also forced to evacuate the wider SkyCity precinct, including the casino, SkyTower, hotels, car park, restaurants and corporate offices.
In a statement issued early Wednesday morning, SkyCity said the precinct would “remain closed until further notice.” It also warned of likely delays to the project as a result of the fire.
“Once the extent of the damage to the NZICC and the Horizon Hotel (which is also under construction and located adjacent to the NZICC) is known, SkyCity will, in consultation with Fletcher Construction Company Ltd, be able to determine the impact on the project delivery timeline.
“It is expected, at this stage, that there will be a further material delay to the completion dates for the NZICC and Horizon Hotel.”
Due to open in 2020, the International Convention Centre is one of the key features of SkyCity’s upgrade works at SkyCity Auckland.
The company tweeted late Tuesday that there had been no reported injuries as a result of the fire.