Former Hucknall family shattered by earthquake tragedy

A MUM-of-two with strong connections to Hucknall and Bulwell was buried alive when a building collapsed during the tragic earthquake in New Zealand.

Theresa McLean, who had just turned 40, was at work in the medical centre on the fourth floor of the Canterbury TV building when the tremor hit Christchurch.

She is presumed dead and her family have been told there is no hope of finding her alive.

What’s more, they have been hit with the devastating news that her body may never be found.

Mrs McLean moved to New Zealand in 1975 at the age of four with her parents, Tim and Mavis Elms, and her sister.

They had previously lived on Watnall Road in Hucknall.

Mrs McLean also has family in Bulwell, including her auntie, Andree Bust.

“It’s awful,” said Mrs Bust (65). “Teresa was a wonderful person. She was kind and bubbly and always laughing.”

Mrs McLean, who worked as a practice nurse, leaves her husband, Alistair, and two sons, Henry (two) and nine-month-old Thomas.

The youngsters were at nursery near to the Canterbury TV building when the quake struck.

Thankfully they were not injured because they were outside in the playground at the time.

Mrs Bust said: “I have been in daily contact with the family. There is no hope (for Teresa).

“The family have had to provide DNA because if they do find her body, she probably won’t be recognisable.”

The medical centre Mrs McLean was working in was a temporary building set up after Christchurch was hit by another earthquake last year. The latest tremor, which struck on Tuesday February 22, has claimed more than 160 lives.

Mrs McLean’s parents live about 50 miles from Christchurch in the small rural town of Hawarden.

At first, they hoped their daughter had survived. But as more information filtered through, they started to fear the worst.

Mr Elms described Mrs McLean as “smashing” and very satisfied with her life.

Last week, the Dispatch reported on former Hucknall couple Mick and Helen Braithwaite, who had to abandon their home in the aftermath of the earthquake.