WHAKATANE – New Zealand police on Tuesday said they were launching a criminal investigation after a volcanic island erupted with ash and steam on Monday, killing five people, wounding over 30 and leaving eight people missing, presumed dead.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said reconnaissance flights showed no signs of life on White Island, as eyewitnesses detailed the burns suffered by survivors, most of them tourists.
Police said 47 people were on the island at the time of the eruption – 24 from Australia, nine from the United States, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two each from China and the United Kingdom and one from Malaysia.
“I would strongly suggest that there is no one that has survived on the island,” police Deputy Commissioner John Tims said of the eight people still missing.(Reuters)