White Island: NZ Police complete identification of volcano victims

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The victims of the White Island volcano eruptionImage source, Composite
Image caption,
The majority of the victims come from Australia

New Zealand police have completed the identification of the 18 victims of the White Island volcano, more than a week after it erupted.

The names and nationalities of 17 people have been released, but one person who died in an Australian hospital was not publicly named.

Two of those named are still missing - presumed to be dead near the island.

But poor weather has forced police to postpone the search for them.

There were 47 people on the island when the eruption took place last Monday.

About 20 people still remain in intensive care with severe burns, including 19-year-old Jesse Langford, the only member of his family who is thought to have survived.

The victims who died as a result of the incident range from 13 - 53 in age and hail mainly from Australia and the US, police said.

They are:

  • Richard Aaron Elzer, 32, from Australia
  • Barbara Jean Hollander, 49, from the US
  • Berend Lawrence Hollander, 16, from the US
  • Matthew Robert Hollander, 13, from the US
  • Martin Berend Hollander, 48, from Australia
  • Julie Richards, 47, from Australia
  • Jessica Richards, 20, from Australia
  • Krystal Eve Browitt, 21, from Australia
  • Tipene Maangi, 24, from New Zealand
  • Zoe Ella Hosking, 15, from Australia
  • Gavin Brian Dallow, 53, from Australia
  • Karla Michelle Mathews, 32, from Australia
  • Jason David Griffiths, 33, from Australia
  • Kristine Elizabeth Langford, 45, from Australia
  • Anthony James Langford, 51, from Australia

The two people who have been named missing - but are presumed dead - are:

  • Winona Jane Langford, 17, from Australia
  • Hayden Bryan Marshall-Inman, 40, from New Zealand.

Police say they are still searching for the remaining two and more search missions could be carried out later on Tuesday, subject to weather.

One man from White Island, also known by its Maori name Whakaari, told Radio New Zealand that conditions around the island made it hard for searches to be carried out.

"It's an extremely rough coast line around White Island, lots of rocky outcrops, inaccessible areas," Phil van Dusschoten said.

An investigation into the disaster has been opened, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying there were still "questions to be asked and answered".

Ms Ardern, along with her cabinet, led the country in a minute of silence on Monday in respect for the victims.