News footage shows the scene at Cave Creek in Paparoa National Park on the South Island's West Coast after a Department of Conservation viewing platform collapsed, with tragic results. On 28 April 1995, 14 people were killed and four seriously injured when the platform failed under their weight and fell 30 metres onto a rocky stream bed. Nearly all of the dead and injured were young outdoor-recreation students from Tai Poutini Polytechnic in Greymouth. The group was on a field trip to study limestone caves and rock formations in the park. A commission of inquiry found that the platform had been inadequately constructed by the Department of Conservation, which had made a series of other procedural mistakes that led to the platform collapse. Minister of Conservation Denis Marshall, after overseeing changes to the department to ensure that no similar disaster could occur in future, resigned in May 1996.
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