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NZ opens probe into deadly volcano eruption

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:55s - Published < > Embed
NZ opens probe into deadly volcano eruption

NZ opens probe into deadly volcano eruption

New Zealand police launched an investigation on Tuesday after a volcanic eruption on an island popular with tourists killed five people, injured more than 30 and left eight people missing, who are presumed dead.

Libby Hogan reports.

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NZ opens probe into deadly volcano eruption

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NO RESALE / MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY TWITTER/@SCH / MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY INSTAGRAM/@ALISMOURA / MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY INSTAGRAM /@ALLESSANDROKAUFFMANN**~ Flower tributes were laid in New Zealand on Tuesday (December 10) for victims of a deadly volcanic eruption.

Bouquets and the country's flag were left by the docked cruise liner that brought people on a tour of White Island a day before before the eruption covered it in hot ash and steam.

Police now say its unlikely eight people still missing are still alive.

Authorities have also announced an investigation.

In parliament, New Zealand's leader Jacinda Ardern voiced sympathy for the victims. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "The scale of this tragedy is devastating.

Police and Defence Force personnel have undertaken a number of aerial reconnaissance flights over the island since the eruption however no signs of life have been detected.

We know too there will be bigger questions in relation to this event.

These questions must be asked and they must be answered." Eyewitnesses have said some survivors suffered horrific burns and officials say not all those in hospital may survive.

Pilot James Taylor who helped mount rescue efforts.

He says victims were in bad shape when he flew them to hospital.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUCKLAND WESTPAC RESCUE HELICOPTER PILOT, JAMES TAYLER, SAYING: "Um they were pretty poorly, obviously difficult to see specific details but covered in ash, looking quite badly burnt, obviously requiring transport by helicopter meant they were very sick anyway so they were in a fairly serious condition." Paramedic Russell Clark said the scene was devastating that there were no more survivors on the island.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) INTENSIVE CARE PARAMEDIC, RUSSELL CLARK, SAYING: "So we got there it was quite an experience.

It was like..

Like I've seen the Chernobyl mini series and it was just everything was just blanketed ash.

It was quite an overwhelming feeling.

There was a helicopter on the island that had obviously been there at the time, with its rotor blades were off it.

Ardern said tourists from Australia, the United States, Britain, China and Malaysia were among the dead, missing and injured, along with New Zealanders.




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