Dungog flood inquest to be split into two parts

A CORONER is planning to break an inquest into the fatal Dungog floods into two sections – what happened on the fateful April day, and the procedures surrounding the emergency services.

Newcastle Coroners Court heard on Monday that an 80-page brief had been prepared by Port Stephens detectives into the events surrounding the flash flooding which claimed three lives, destroyed homes and prompted questions about the protocols of some emergency services.

Brian Wilson, 72, died trying to leave his Brown Street unit, Col ‘‘Spider’’ Webb, 79, died across the road while Robin MacDonald, 68, died inside her Hooke Street home.

Deputy State Coroner Ian Cheetham will decide on hearing dates next month.

Mr Cheetham said he expected to have a hearing into the ‘‘factual matters’’ surrounding the flood before delving into ‘‘what went wrong and what didn’t go wrong’’.

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