New Zealand authorities suspend search for victims still missing more than two weeks after deadly volcanic eruption

by Editorial Team

New Zealand police have abandoned their search for the two remaining victims still missing after a sudden volcanic eruption on White Island just more than two weeks after the deadly blast.

Nearly all 47 people – nine of them American tourists – were either killed or injured when the volcano erupted around 2 p.m. on Dec. 9. Five people were pronounced dead in the immediate aftermath and another six have since succumbed to their injuries.

Rescue crews in the days after the blast also managed to recover six bodies from White Island, also known as Whakarri, but have struggled to find the final two victims, who are both presumed dead.

They have been identified as 40-year-old New Zealand tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman and 17-year-old Australian tourist Winona Langford.

Authorities believe they are located somewhere in the waters off the island but have decided to suspend the recovery mission after “extensive shoreline and substantial area searches.”

Despite their best efforts, “no further items of significance have been located,” police said in a press release on Tuesday.

“The families of the two missing people have been informed of this decision,” Superintendent Andy McGregor added.

“Police remain ready to respond if new information comes to light.”

The decision comes just after, Mayuri “Mary” Singh died from the injuries she sustained during the volcanic eruption. Her death on Sunday brought the official death toll to 17, while the presumed dead stands at 19.

Dozens of others are still recovering from severe burns and other injuries they received when the volcano started to suddenly spew scalding ash and toxic gas earlier this month.


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