Video: Decorated Kiwi soldier killed in Port Hills chopper crash saved hotel guests in Afghanistan while he had grenade wounds

A decorated Kiwi soldier killed in a chopper crash yesterday, while he was fighting the Port Hills fires in Christchurch, will go to his grave with an outstanding and accomplished track record.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Among Corporal David Steven Askin's most celebrated missions was an incident in Afghanistan, in 2011, where he was wounded by grenade and rifle fire at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul.

Despite his injuries he bravely carried on with his mission and rescued guests from the hotel, as fire broke out.

He was also cited on several other occasions for exceptional bravery during operations in Afghanistan.

In 2014, he was awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Star, New Zealand's second highest gallantry award, for acts of outstanding gallantry in situations of danger.

Canterbury police superintendent Lane Todd says the pilot was the sole occupant of the helicopter that crashed at the scene of the fire. Source: 1 NEWS

The Chief of Army, Major General Peter Kelly, praised Corporal Askin's selflessness saying he put himself in the line of fire, and put the objectives of the mission before his personal wellbeing.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and comrades at this time," Major General Kelly said.

A pilot died after his helicopter crashed in the Port Hills today. Source: 1 NEWS

A helicopter crashed this afternoon in the Port Hills. Source: 1 NEWS

"He was an outstanding soldier who served his country with bravery and commitment - the same bravery and commitment he showed in helping his community fight these fires.

"His performance was of the highest order and was in keeping with the finest traditions of New Zealand's military record."

He put himself in the line of fire, and put the objectives of the mission before his personal wellbeing.

Corporal Askin enlisted in 1998 and left the Army in 2013, though he remained an active member of the SAS Reserves.

This is the 2011 terror attack in Kabul, where Corporal David Askin, along with other Kiwi military SAS soldiers, saved dozens at the Intercontinental Hotel. Source: 1 NEWS



Man accused of abducting woman in broad daylight appears in Auckland court

A man accused of kidnapping and indecently assaulting a woman in central Auckland has appeared in court this afternoon.

The accused, who has interim name suppression, was remanded in custody without plea when he appeared in court today. Source: 1 NEWS

The 30-year-old, who was arrested last night in the suburb of Mt Albert, was granted interim name suppression during his appearance in the Auckland District Court today.

It's alleged he had grabbed the woman in Eden Terrace on Monday and forced her into his car, but that following a struggle she was able to escape from the moving vehicle.

He faces charges of indecent assault, abduction for the purposes of unlawful sexual connection, rendering someone incapable of resistance with intent to sexually violate them, and burglary.

He was remanded in custody without plea and will reappear on March 9.



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Much of Christchurch without power for half an hour due to Port Hills fire

Smoke or flames from the Christchurch fires caused about 89,000 people to lose power for around half an hour today.

All customers now have power restored as it has been rerouted through the rest of the Orion network.

The Transpower 220KV line tripped, causing the power cut, an Orion spokesperson said.

Orion said the supply "remains fragile however, due to the continuing fire threat".

A map from power provider Orion showing the areas affected by a power cut in Christchurch as of 2.15pm on February 15.
A map from power provider Orion showing the areas affected by a power cut in Christchurch as of 2.15pm on February 15. Source: Supplied


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