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Two more bodies recovered from New Zealand hostel fire



Two more bodies have been pulled from the ruined Loafers Lodge hostel in Wellington, bringing the total number of those recovered from this week's deadly fire to four.

Police said they had recovered two of the six victims' bodies from the hostel on Friday, in addition to two yesterday.

Dion Bennett, New Zealand Police's acting Wellington district commander, said officers had also located a fifth body.

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"Police can confirm that four victims have now been recovered from Loafers Lodge in Newtown," Bennett said.

"Two were recovered today, in addition to the two recovered yesterday.

"A fifth has been located and is yet to be recovered."

While Bennett confirmed the number of people who are unaccounted for now sits at less than 10, he refrained from giving an updated death toll, which has sat at six since Tuesday morning, or a specific number of missing people.

"Police have now accounted for 99 people who were in the building," he said.

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A general view the day after a fire at Loafers Lodge on May 17, 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand.

"The number of those unaccounted for is fewer than 10.

"Until we have fully examined all parts of the building, we remain reluctant to confirm specific numbers of deceased and unaccounted for."

The examination of the hostel is expected to run into next week.

Bennett's update came after the man charged with arson over the deadly fire fronted court for the first time.

The 48-year-old, whose name is suppressed, was remanded in custody until his next court date on June 19.

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