No more survivors expected to be found after New Zealand volcano disaster: Five tourists are confirmed dead and more than 25 unaccounted for – as picture shows group INSIDE crater one minute before eruption

Monday, December 9, 2019
By Paul Martin

White Island, located 29 miles off New Zealand’s North Island, erupted at 2.11pm local time on Monday
Five people have been confirmed dead, 18 injured, and more than 20 people are thought to be missing
Police say there have been ‘no signs of life’ from the island, and no more survivors are expected to be found
Rescuers have been unable to land on the island, but say a number of helicopters have passed overhead

9 December 2019

There are ‘no signs of life’ on the New Zealand tourist island rocked by a volcanic eruption on Monday and no more survivors are expected to be found, police have said.

Five people have been confirmed dead in a powerful eruption on White Island, also known as Whakaari, at 2.11pm local time on Monday when an estimated 50 tourists were on or around the volcano crater.

Eighteen survivors have been evacuated – some suffering severe burns – leaving an estimated 27 people unaccounted for. Police say the number of missing is in double figures, but refused to give an exact figure.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 24 Australians were visiting the island at the time of the disaster, while three Britons were also listed among the missing by worried family and friends on the International Committee of the Red Cross website.

Rescuers have so-far been unable to get on to the island due to fears of landslides and further eruptions, but said a number of rescue helicopters and other aircraft had carried out aerial reconnaissance flights overnight.

Officials said early on Tuesday that ‘no signs of life have been seen at any point’ and they are not expecting to find anyone else alive. That means the death toll could be as high as 32.

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