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New Zealand earthquake survivors see luggage returned, bills delivered

Hotel guests forced to evacuate rooms during an earthquake in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand earlier this year have seen their luggage returned to them.

Items including a Tiffany diamond bangle, thousands of dollars in cash, an antique Steiff teddy bear and a shoe collection were all returned to guests.

Reports from the New Zealand Herald quote New Zealand Hotel Council executive officer Rachael Shadbolt as confirmed a total of 750 items returned to their owners.

Christchurch was hit by a 6.3-magnitute earthquake in February this year.

More than 200 people are believed to have been killed.

However, others who were able to escape were less fortunate in their treatment at the hands of the hotels.

The Christchurch Press reported earlier a guest trapped for four hours in the Grand Chancellor Hotel had received a NZ$300 bill for his stay.

The bill included a $15.20 charge for the cable movie he was watching when the quake hit and a further $18 for parking.

The paper said the man - who escaped with his wife from the 22nd floor of the hotel after a daring run down a series of collapsed stairs - described the bill as “a kick in the guts”.