New Zealand Volcano Eruption: Death Toll Rises To 18, Search Continues

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After the volcanic eruption at New Zealand's White Island, the death toll reportedly stands at 18 including the two people whose bodies have not been recovered.

Written By Bhavya Sukheja | Mumbai | Updated On:
New Zealand

After the volcanic eruption at New Zealand's White Island, the death toll has reportedly increased to 18, including the two people whose bodies have not been recovered. According to international media reports, a land search on December 15 failed to find any sign of the missing pair and a sea search resumed amid speculation that both could be in the water. New Zealand authorities have also released the names of more victims identified in New Zealand's White Island volcano eruption. On Sunday, police named four more victims - 24-year-old from New Zealand Tipene James Te Rangi Ataahua Maangi, 15-year-old Zoe Ella Hosking, 53-year-old Gavin Brian Dallow and 51-year-old Anthony James Langford from Australia. The search for the bodies is continuing, according to a police statement. 

The identification process of the victims is being carried out in Auckland by experts, including a pathologist, a forensic dentist, and a fingerprint officer. Earlier on December 14, 21-year-old Australian Krystal Eve Browitt was the first person to be identified by officials. A specialist team recovered six bodies from the volcano, braving hazardous conditions in a risky operation four days after it erupted while 47 people were visiting. It was the first time authorities have been able to return to White Island.

READ: New Zealand Authorities Release Names Of More Volcano Victims

READ: No Sign Of Remaining Bodies On New Zealand Volcano Site, Police Still Hopeful

Search operation continues

Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Clement said that they understand the frustration of the rescue team as well as the loved ones of the victims who want their bodies to be back. He said there was every chance that both corpses were in the water but the divers were satisfied that the area they searched near the jetty was clear of the bodies. Clement added that the police have not given up hope despite the land and sea searchers have so far been unsuccessful in finding bodies. In a statement, he said that the police would not give up so easily. In the search operation which took place earlier today, eight police search and rescue personnel were deployed for 75 minutes to an area in which at least one of the bodies was believed to be.

READ: New Zealand Divers Attempt To Recover Last 2 Volcano Victims

READ: New Zealand Volcano Eruption: 6 Bodies Recovered From The Site

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