Toxic air, gases hamper search for last 2 volcano victims

WHAKATANE, New Zealand (AP) — A second land search of New Zealand’s volcanic White Island has failed to locate the bodies of the last two victims of an eruption that has now claimed 16 lives, most of them tourists.

New Zealand police confirmed the 16th victim died Saturday at Sydney’s Concord Hospital, one of several Australian hospitals where survivors suffering from severe burns were being treated. Ten of the dead are thought to be Australians. Of the 47 people on White Island when it erupted, 24 were Australian citizens and four more were permanent residents.

Two four-person teams landed on the island by helicopter. The teams, wearing heavy protective clothing, were using breathing apparatus that allowed them to search for only 75 minutes.

Categories: National News