New Zealand suspends search for two volcano eruption victims

World | 24 Dec 2019 10:44 am

New Zealand police said today they were ending the search for the bodies of two people still missing following the deadly eruption of a volcano on the island Whakaari earlier this month, Reuters reports.

“The search for the two missing victims of the Whakaari/ White Island eruption has been suspended,” Bay of Plenty District Commander, Superintendent Andy McGregor said in a statement.

“The families of the two missing people have been informed of this decision. Police remain ready to respond if new information comes to light,” he added.

Those still missing, presumed dead, are Winona Langford, a 17-year-old Australian tourist, and Hayden Marshall-Inman, a 40-year-old New Zealand tour guide. Their bodies are thought to have been swept into the ocean around the uninhabited volcanic island.

Police said yesterday one of those injured during the eruption had died in an Auckland hospital on the weekend, bringing the official death toll to 17.

The majority of the victims the powerful eruption of White Island, also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, were Australian citizens or permanent residents.

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