Drone photos show the location of bodies after the volcanic eruption that took place on New Zealand‘s White Island on Monday. According to reports, at least 47 people were on the island at the time of the eruption. 13 people are believed to have died. Five deaths have been confirmed, the remaining eight missing persons are presumed to be dead.
Update: The Independent reports that at least 16 people are now confirmed dead. A military rescue team successfully recovered six bodies, which had been located the night before by drones. “The operation was not without risk but thanks to sound planning and the skills of the specialist team involved we have recovered the six bodies,” New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said in a statement.
Drone photos show bodies after volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island
In response to questions about the eight missing people, Jonn Tims, the police deputy commissioner, stated that the probable locations of six bodies have been shown in drone photos.
“We have some photos and they are marked, you can see some markings on the photos that indicate perhaps where the bodies are, so we’ve got an idea. Certainly, the bodies are covered in ash. We’re unsure what the state of the bodies will be in,” he said, according to the International Business Times.
Recovery of the bodies is an absolute priority said the police but the environment on White Island has changed two days after the eruptions. Every two to three hours the police assess the safety of deploying teams to the island with scientific experts in Wellington.
Even though drones have been used to look over the island, it remains too dangerous to begin the recovery of the bodies. Disaster victim identification specialists are standing by in Whakatane ready to be deployed, reports CNN.
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Photo: Michael Schade /Handout