herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Family of man in NZ 'hoping for a miracle'

THE family of the Irishman trapped in rubble following the New Zealand earthquake are "hoping for a miracle".

Accountant JJ O'Connor (40) was working in the Pyne Gould Guinness building in Christchurch when it collapsed.

"We're hoping for a miracle," said an anxious cousin of Mr O'Connor today as rescue workers continued to search the debris.

Catherine O'Connor, speaking in JJ's hometown in Abbeydorney, Co Kerry, told the Herald: "We're all just hoping now."

JJ's uncle Denis O'Connor, Catherine's father, said: "We just don't know, we've heard so many conflicting reports at this stage. It would probably take a miracle now at this stage but we'll keep the fingers crossed for another bit."

JJ, a father of one, had moved to New Zealand from London with his wife last September and only took up his new job before Christmas.

Mr O'Connor's wife is expecting their second child in May. They already have a two-year-old son.

Officials in New Zealand have confirmed at least 113 people have been found dead.

A further 213 people, including Mr O'Connor, have yet to be accounted for.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told the Herald today there were no further updates on his situation.

comurphy@herald.ie

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