Dundas Street incident - statement from media conference

The scene outside the student flat this morning

The scene outside the student flat this morning

"We are supporting the family of the student who died", she said.

Two other people were seriously injured while trying to leave the Manor flat on Dundas Street shortly before midnight on Saturday.

"Our head of senior school and a chaplain from the college are heading to Dunedin to support previous students, and the school is open for any past or present students if they wish to meet here".

Students at accommodation halls Knox and Salmond Colleges - where Crestani had lived a year ago - were in shock at her death, Knox master Dr Graham Redding said.

The incident follows the 2016 collapse of a deck at a Dunedin residence - 16 people were moderately injured and two others seriously injured when a balcony collapsed at another Dunedin student flat. "She was a lovely young lady, somewhat shy, but very much loved by the students that she coached", the man said.

"In the midst of their own grief I admire their courage and their generosity in helping us to look out for the students who are most severely affected by this tragedy".

Another student said it was a "tragic accident".

The University of Otago said it's deeply saddened by the student's death and is supporting their family.

From Tuesday, there would be a drop-in centre set up in the main common room for upset students to attend.

"Talk, listen and show the strength of our community".

The police's priority was providing support to her friends and family, the occupants of the flat and the wider community.

Late on Monday morning a large number of detectives entered the previously cordoned off property, and were later joined by several of the flat's residents, who have not been living in the property since the incident.

Sophia had attended Wellington Presbyterian girls school Queen Margaret College before moving to Dunedin to attend university.

Principal Jayne-Ann Young said Crestani had "touched many lives" during her time at the college.

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The woman said she was not injured but was very "shaken up".

She said it was her "warm and friendly nature" that made her the year 9 class prefect and a peer tutor to help girls navigate their way through middle school, and later a year 13 mentor.

"She was an enthusiastic spirit with a creative flair, whether it was inside the Material Technology classroom or out on the water dragon boating".

"I was trying to hold it up, I could see it getting bad, then I started to get knocked over, got out of the way".

On Monday, dozens of bouquets of flowers were placed in the hedge in front of the flat, which was in the heart of the student quarter.

He said Police were called to the scene by Campus Watch, before the party organisers also called police.

Police were called to the party about 11.55pm on Saturday.

When emergency services arrived, a large number of people were leaving and there were injuries, Otago Coastal Area Commander Marty Gray said.

A student who attended the party told the New Zealand Herald people fell down the flat's stairs and landed on top of the woman, who suffered fatal injuries.

The witness said the congestion created a pile of roughly 50 people, with partygoers attempting to pull everyone off the mass of bodies.

He believed there were between 500 and 600 people there at the party's peak.

The witness said the woman who died was found at the bottom of the pile, and was one of the last people to get out. "Someone managed to grab my hand and help me up and I just ran out of the building screaming".

"The victim was carried out of the house by other people and resuscitation attempts were made at that time".

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