Sixth fatality following White Island eruption
Another person has died following the White Island eruption, bringing the official death toll to six.
A police spokesperson says the person was being treated at Middlemore Hospital before their death.
"Police remain focused on supporting families at this terrible time."
Officers are continuing to work with the Defence Force and Fire and Emergency New Zealand to determine conditions on the island including, gas levels in the atmosphere, so that they can understand the nature of the current conditions.
This involves the deployment of drones carrying specialist measuring equipment in order to collect and analyse gas levels.
"This data and information will inform the next steps we are able to take.
"We understand people’s desire to recover their loved ones and we are working around the clock to get onto the island so we can recover them as soon as possible."
Based on the effects of the eruption on the bodies, this recovery will need to be handled with expert skill and care, says police.
Police are in a position to confirm the nationalities and numbers of the 47 people who were on the time of the island.
• 24 people from Australia
• Two people from China
• Four people from Germany
• One person from Malaysia
• Five people from New Zealand
• Two people from the United Kingdom
• Nine people from the United States of America
There are six confirmed fatalities, and eight people missing and presumed deceased.
The bodies of the five confirmed deceased have been transported to Auckland today, so post-mortems can be carried out today.
"We are working to confirm the identities of those involved, including those who have died and who are injured."
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