The New Zealand authorities today announced that the death toll of the New Zealand island volcano eruption has risen to 14 in an unlimited final toll.
"The death toll has risen to six and the eight missing are now considered to be among the dead," Agence France-Presse quoted New Zealand police as saying, noting that 31 wounded people were receiving treatment in hospital.
The police pointed out that among the missing and injured are tourists from Australia, the United States, Britain, China and Malaysia, in addition to New Zealand guides, announcing the opening of a criminal investigation into allowing tourists to get to the volcanic island despite the level of threat to it.
"We will open a criminal investigation into the circumstances that led to the death and injury of people on White Island," Deputy Police Commissioner John Thames told reporters.
And a previous toll indicated yesterday that five people were killed by the volcanic eruption.
For her part, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed "deep pain" over the accident and said during a press conference that "efforts are focused on recovering dead bodies" in light of the risk of additional volcanic eruptions.
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