A giant explosion at just before 9am New Zealand time has today (17 July) rocked export company Balance Investments' cool store in Hastings, according to The Waikato Times.
The resulting fire reduced the building, in the middle of a group of apple packing facilities, to what witnesses described as looking like the "aftermath of an atomic bomb". The fire was described as "deep-seated" by authorities, with particularly large amounts of cardboard set alight.
Firefighters eventually gained control of the blaze, but not before it had caused burning debris to fall on on surrounding buildings, sparking another fire at a packhouse 50m away. Firefighters did prevent the fire spreading from the cool store to an ammonia plant next door.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.