New Zealand volcano death toll rises to 21

New Zealand volcano death toll rises to 21

Rescue crew dressed in protective gear are seen as they work to to retrieve bodies on the volcanic
Rescue crew dressed in protective gear are seen as they work to retrieve bodies on the volcanic White Island that fatally erupted earlier this week in New Zealand, Dec 13, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. (Photo: NEW ZEALAND DEFENCE FORCE via REUTERS)

WELLINGTON: The death toll from New Zealand's White Island volcano eruption climbed to 21 Wednesday (Jan 29), with a further death in hospital more than a month after the tragedy, police said.

Deputy police commissioner John Tims said the person died in hospital in Auckland, without releasing further details.

Nineteen of the victims had died in New Zealand and two in Australia.

The toll includes two people whose bodies have not been recovered but who were confirmed by a coroner last week to have been killed in the eruption.

READ: Why were tourists allowed to visit New Zealand's White Island volcano? A commentary

READ: New Zealand volcano eruption: What you need to know about White Island

There were 47 people, mainly Australian tourists, on the island when the volcano erupted on Dec 9 and many were coated in burning ash and steam.

Source: AFP/nr

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