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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Family trip turns to 'horrific accident' after holiday home collapses

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Australian tourists on a family holiday have a long recovery ahead after the holiday home they were staying in collapsed in a landslide caused by Auckland’s floods.

Cheryl Gilroy, her elderly mother and her husband Darren were injured while staying in a bach in Orua Bay, Manukau Heads on February 1.

The trio had only been at the bach (a holiday home in New Zealand) for one night when a cliff landslide pulled the house down on them, dragging them 15m onto the beach.

Aussie family injured after bach collapses in New Zealand.
The bach fell about 15 metres down the side of a cliff. (Ryan Anderson/Stuff)

Gilroy’s mother, who is in her 80s, was trapped amongst the rubble for a couple of hours while rescuers worked to free her. She was seriously injured.

Darren Gilroy was also seriously injured and remains in Auckland City Hospital.

Gilroy has since been discharged from hospital.

A friend of Gilroy’s, Sabine Doroudgar, has set up an online fundraiser for the family.

She said what was meant to be a “lovely family holiday” had turned into “a horrific accident” which resulted in long-term recovery.

“Not to mention the emotional scars that have created great emotional trauma,” Dorudgar said.

“The ongoing medical costs and time away from their business is going to take a major toll on Cheryl and Darren.”

It was not yet known when the couple would be able to return to Australia and their business and bills were starting to mount up, Dorudgar said.

Aussie family injured after bach collapses in New Zealand.
Workers managed to remove most of the rubble before the tide at Orua Bay Beach came in. (Jason Dorday/Stuff)

Dave Palmer, who owns a bach a few properties down, said he heard an “almighty crash” and rushed onto the beach.

“I heard another noise and saw this little orange car come flying off the bridge – then the house came off behind it.”

The landslip was one of many across Auckland following the Auckland Anniversary flooding, which began on January 27.

Four people lost their lives in the floods and many houses, especially those on clifftops, had to be evacuated.

This story has been reproduced with permission from Stuff.co.nz.

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