New Zealand hostel fire leaves at least six dead

A fire at a multi-story hostel on Tuesday in Wellington, New Zealand, has left at least six people dead and several injured, with officials believing the toll could rise

The blaze broke out on the top floor of Loafers Lodge in the Wellington neighborhood of Newtown just after midnight, police said.

Officials said they believe the death toll could rise with 11 people still missing.

“Obviously it’s quite confronting and also to speak to the first responders who were on the scene in terms of what they dealt with when they arrived in the small hours of the morning. Clearly a traumatic situation for them. I know they’ll be feeling this at the moment,” said New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins during a news briefing at the site where he spoke with emergency workers.

Firefighters are on the scene as there are still small fires inside the building, and structural and risk assessments are being undertaken.

Investigations into what caused the fire are underway, according to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).