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Death toll rises to 17 in New Zealand volcano eruption

Victim dies in hospital as aerial search for remaining 2 conducted over weekend following White Island eruption, say police

Zehra Nur Duz   | 23.12.2019
Death toll rises to 17 in New Zealand volcano eruption


The death toll from a volcanic eruption on White Island, also known as Whakaari, rose to 17 as one victim died in the hospital.

"Police can confirm a further person has died in Middlemore Hospital last night following the Whakaari / White Island eruption," Deputy Commissioner John Tims said in a written statement.

Coastguard and police conducted a comprehensive "aerial search" over the weekend for two remaining victims between the island and mainland, police said Monday in another statement.

"No further items of significance were located," it concluded.

New Zealand's White Island (Whakaari) volcano erupted on Dec. 9.

The bodies of tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, 40, and Australian tourist Winona Langford, 17 remain to be found.

New Zealand scientists warned of possible further eruptions on the country's most active volcano.

Victims include tourists from Australia, the U.K., China, Germany, New Zealand, Malaysia and the U.S.

White Island had last erupted in 2001.

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