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New Zealand tragedy: Six now confirmed dead from White Island eruption

Six people have now been confirmed dead as a result of the White Island volcanic eruption in New Zealand.

A further eight are presumed to have died due to the eruption of the volcano on Monday when dozens of tourists were visiting the island.

Another 25 are in critical condition in hospital with severe burns.

At least 47 visitors from around the world were on the volcano crater at the time of two explosions in quick succession, including 38 from Royal Caribbean International ship Ovation of the Seas.

Police said that of the 30 injured, 25 are critical while the other five are classed as stable but serious.

Two British women were among those injured.

Reconnaissance flights have shown no signs of life on the island and officials believe there are no survivors among the eight missing, according to local reports.

White Island is a popular tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.

Ovation of the Seas has been docked in Turanaga Harbour for two days before a delayed departure today local time. Changes have been made to the 12-day itinerary from Sydney as a result.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald: “We are working to help our guests and the authorities in the aftermath of this tragedy in any way we can.

“We are communicating with our guests and their families. We’re making sure they are taken care of in terms of medical help, counselling, accommodations, and transport.

“Our hearts go out to them, and we want to be as supportive as we can.”

Ships from sister lines Azamara and Celebrity Cruises have previously offered excursions to White Island.

Princess Cruises – which sails three ships via the Port of Tauranga – offers scenic helicopter flights although passengers do not land on the island.

Local operator White Island Tours, which offers day trips to “explore New Zealand’s most active volcano,” has taken its website down following the tragedy and a police investigation.

 

 

 

 

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