White Island eruption victim dies in NZ, taking death toll to 21




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Wellington – Another person died in an Auckland hospital as a result of injuries suffered over seven weeks ago when a volcano erupted on New Zealand’s Whakaari White Island, said on Wednesday.

“The announcement brings the death toll in the to 21.

“Nineteen died in New Zealand and two in Australia,’’ Deputy Commissioner John Tims said in a statement.

There were 47 sightseeing on the privately owned island when the volcano erupted on Dec. 9, 2019.

Tims said of these, 21 died and almost 20 are still receiving treatment in burn units in New Zealand and Australia.

Radio New Zealand reported the equivalent of 14 full bodies’ worth of skin has been used to try save the lives of the injured.

White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano lies 48 kilometres off the eastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said after the tragedy that New Zealand’s health and safety regulator Worksafe had launched an investigation.

said an investigation on behalf of the coroner was also ongoing.

(dpa/NAN)