One dead in New Zealand volcano eruption, more fatalities likely
At least one person was left in a critical condition when New Zealand's White Island volcano erupted suddenly on Monday, leaving authorities scrambling to treat the injured and find those unaccounted for. "Of those transported to shore, at least one has been critically injured."New Zealand police said at least one person was killed and more fatalities were likely, after an island volcano popular with tourists erupted Monday, leaving dozens stranded.
The smouldering New Zealand volcano that killed at least six people is still too dangerous for emergency teams to recover bodies from, police said Wednesday, warning that many tourists who escaped the island were so badly burned they were not yet out of danger .
New Zealand police defended delays in recovering bodies from the White Island volcano Wednesday, saying it would be "madness" to rush into a landing on the He said there were also poisonous gases pouring from the volcanic vent and the eruption had blanketed the island in a thick layer of acidic ash.
The smouldering New Zealand volcano that killed at least six people is still too dangerous for emergency teams to recover bodies from, police said Wednesday, warning that many tourists who escaped the island were so badly burned they were not yet out of danger.
The official death toll after Monday's explosion on White Island climbed to six late Tuesday when another victim died in hospital.
The bodies of eight more people are believed to be on the island, but it is still too dangerous for the teams of rescuers to travel there and for forensic pathologists, odontologists and other victim identification experts to begin their work.
New Zealand planning retrieval of bodies on volcanic island
WHAKATANE, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand officials said they'll begin Friday to recover eight victims' bodies believed to remain on a small island since a volcanic explosion there earlier this week. Continuing volcanic activity has delayed the retrieval of the eight bodies from ash-covered White Island, where an eruption occurred Monday as 47 tourists were exploring the landscape. Eight people were confirmed killed and dozens were severely burned in the blast of steam and ash.New Zealand medical staff were working around the clock to treat the injured survivors in hospital burn units. The enormity of the task was clear when Dr.
New Zealand 's prime minister says overnight reconnaissance flights have failed to find signs of life after a volcano erupted off the country's coast, killing Unstable conditions on the island were hampering rescue efforts and authorities were assessing whether to send a recovery mission to remove bodies .
Volcanic activity has 'significantly increased'. The police warning about the dangers of searching for victims on the island were reinforced shortly after Bird said it was still too dangerous to go onto the island to search for bodies . Police said on Tuesday that no one left on the island could have survived.
The Ministry of Health said 22 survivors still being treated in hospital burns units around the country remained in a critical condition.
When the volcano exploded it is believed to have sent superheated steam, ash and cannonball-like rocks hurtling from the caldera at supersonic speed.
Police Minister Stuart Nash said injuries to tourists and guides exploring at the time were so severe that some victims could not identify themselves.
"There are a number of people in hospital who cannot communicate, they have significant burns not only to skin but internal organs," he told Radio New Zealand.
"We're working very closely with a number of agencies to ensure we get this identification right."
A total of 47 day-trippers and guides were on the island when the blast occurred, hailing from Australia, the United States, Britain, China, Germany, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Nash said the survivors were receiving world-class treatment but warned "there are still some very, very seriously injured people in hospital".
"We wish them the best but we're not out of the woods yet, of that there's no doubt," he said.
Australia says 13 of its citizens were being treated and 11 were unaccounted for, while two Britons have also been confirmed as injured and a local tour company says two of its guides are missing.
New Zealand resumes mission to retrieve remaining bodies following volcanic eruption
New Zealand resumes mission to retrieve remaining bodies following volcanic eruptionThe remains of six people were successfully retrieved on Friday after a military team in gas masks and hazmat suits went on to the volcano and removed the bodies in a high-risk operation.
New Zealand police say 8 missing after volcano eruption likely dead. The accounts Tuesday came as some relatives were forced to continue waiting for news of their loved ones, with authorities deciding it remained too dangerous for crews to land on the island and remove bodies .
New Zealand authorities said they hoped clear weather Wednesday would allow the recovery of bodies from the White Island volcano but they would not be rushed into landing on the still -smouldering disaster zone. Monday's explosion at the popular tourist attraction off the North Island coast resulted
Malaysia's High Commission on Wednesday confirmed one of its nationals was critically injured, in addition to one previously announced death.
A coronial process has begun to identify the six confirmed dead but New Zealand police assistant commissioner Bruce Bird said their names and nationalities would not be released until the end of a formal process, which "can take some time".
Police have said they understand the frustration of family members who want clarity over the fate of their missing loved ones but recovery teams had no choice but to wait before accessing the island.
Seismologists have predicted there is a 50 percent chance of another eruption on the island, which sits semi-submerged 50 kilometres (30 miles) out to sea.
Poisonous gases are still pouring from the volcanic vent and the island is blanketed in a thick layer of acidic ash.
"It would be madness for us to send men and women across to White Island in a situation that was not safe for them," Nash said.
New Zealand authorities said reconnaissance flights had determined that after survivors fled the initial blast no one was left alive on the island.
Police hope to use drones to measure toxic gas levels around the island and determine whether it is safe to return, but windy conditions have so far prevented them from doing so.
With weather expected to deteriorate on Thursday, pressure is building to begin the recovery operation.
"We're assessing all factors every two or three hours to see if we can go," superintendent Bird told reporters.
The eruption at White Island -- also known as Whakaari -- occurred on Monday afternoon, spewing a thick plume of white ash 3.6 kilometres (12,000 feet) into the sky.
Visitors at the time included a group of more than 30 from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Ovation of the Seas, which left Sydney on a 12-day voyage last week with up to 4,000 passengers onboard.
The ship had delayed its departure from nearby Tauranga in the wake of the disaster but set off for Wellington early Wednesday morning.
"A team will remain onsite in Tauranga and all hospital locations to ensure those affected by Monday's incident are taken care of in terms of medical help, counselling, accommodations, and transport," the company said in a statement.
"Our priority continues to be to ensure that all guests and crew impacted are well taken care."
The island in the picturesque Bay of Plenty attracts more than 17,000 visitors every year and is marketed as an experience for the adventurous traveller.
But the volcano's threat level had been raised in recent days, leading to questions about whether tour groups should have been allowed to visit.
No luck in search for remaining bodies on New Zealand volcano .
Search teams returned to New Zealand's volcanic White Island on Sunday but there was no sign of two bodies still unaccounted for after last week's eruption, as police released the names of four more victims. We understand completely how frustrating it is for loved ones who want the bodies back," deputy police commissioner Mike Clement said when the land search party of eight police officers returned to the mainland. He said there was "every chance" both corpses were in the water but the divers were "satisfied that the area we searched near the jetty is clear of the bodies".