New Zealand releases 9 names of volcano victims
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Police released on Wednesday the names of nine people missing in New Zealand's volcano disaster. They are seven Australian tourists who made a day trip to White Island from a cruise ship that had left Sydney a few days earlier and two tour guides from New Zealand. Police said the list is not complete because they have not been able to speak to all next of kin. Six people were earlier confirmed dead from Monday's eruption.
Police have said they presume all people still on the volcanic island are dead.
About 30 rescued people remain hospitalized, many with critical burns.
Half of the 47 visitors on the island when the volcano erupted were Australians and most were from the cruise ship. Authorities say there were 24 Australians, nine Americans, five New Zealanders, four Germans, two Britons, two Chinese and a Malaysian on the island when the disaster struck.
Some of the stories of those listed by police as officially missing:
ADELAIDE FATHER AND STEP DAUGHTER
The Dallow family in Adelaide in Australia said they were told by police on Wednesday that the body of Gavin Dallow, 53, had been identified in Auckland. They learned late Tuesday that his wife, Lisa Hosking, 48, was critically injured with burns to half her body and was being treated in a Hamilton hospital.
Police said Hosking's 15-year-old daughter, Zoe, was missing. Her family said police told them she was thought to be on the island.
Dallow’s father, Brian Dallow, said his lawyer son would have examined the risks before taking his family to the volcano.
“Gavin was always one for being fairly articulate on what he did,” Brian Dallow told reporters. “I’m pretty sure that they weren’t fully informed of the dangers, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone.”
St. Aloysius College, where Zoe was a student, said the school community shared the family's deep grief.
"The whole staff, along with many students and their families, have gathered in the chapel to pray for Zoe and her family and to console one another," principal Paddy McEvoy said.
"The family's pain and that of their friends and the school community are beyond words, yet we cherish all that we have shared with Zoe and her family over 10 years," McEnvoy added.
JULIE AND JESSICA RICHARDS
The family of a mother and daughter from the Australian city of Brisbane said the volcano had appealed to their sense of adventure.
Family friend John Mickel said they had held out hope that Julie Richards, 47, and daughter Jessica, 20, had survived until official notification came from New Zealand police on Wednesday morning.
Mickel said the family had been excited about the mother and daughter going on a cruise across the Tasman Sea.
"In particular, they loved the adventure that went with all the outdoor sports," Mickel said. “If there was an adventure that offered itself, they were the ones to do it.”
Jessica was a promising Australian Rules footballer and was studying to become a veterinarian, he said.
COFFS HARBOR COUPLE
Police said Karla Matthews and Richard Elzer, both 32, a couple from the Australian east coast town of Coffs Harbor, are among those missing.
Their companion, Jason Griffiths, 33, was confirmed on Tuesday as being critically injured in a New Zealand hospital.
But their six traveling companions on the cruise said on Wednesday that all three had since died.
“We ... located our third friend, Jason Griffiths, in a hospital in the early hours of the next morning,” the friends said in a statement distributed by the Australian government. “From that moment until the moment of his passing, Jason was surrounded by friends and family members.”
Griffiths appears to be the hospital patient whose death increased the confirmed death toll to six.
“We are incredibly saddened to have lost three of our closest friends,” the friends said.
Police have identified Melbourne student Krystal Browitt, 21, as among the missing. Her former high school, Kolbe Catholic College, said her sister, Stephanie, is also unaccounted for.
Principal Nick Scully told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that Krystal Browitt had been described by her former teachers as a "beautiful soul.”
According to her Facebook account, she was studying veterinary nursing at Melbourne Polytechnic.
Hayden Marshall-Inman's brother described the tourist guide as having a passion for the volcano.
“My brother, he’s a genuine, good kiwi guy,” Mark Inman told Australia's Ten Network television. “He’s got a love for life, he lives in the moment of time and he’ll do anything for anyone.”
“He stalked about the passion for the island, the passion for the water and the passion for the people — he loved the fact that he could interact with internationals, locals and show them what New Zealand culture and White Island has to offer,” Inman added.
Marshall-Inman was a guide for Whakatane-based White Island Tours and was leading a tour group on a 7-hour trip from the cruise ship to the volcano when it erupted.
Inman expected the volcano would continue to be a tourist destination despite the tragedy.
“100%. It’s extremely unfortunate what’s happened. The tourists and the locals have been going to that island for 30 years plus and everybody’s experienced what is such a unique and magical place, but unfortunately on this day it wasn’t,” Inman said.
Tipene Maangi, another guide, was identified by police as among the missing, but some relatives refuse to give up hope.
“I’m not giving up on you I promise, never,” the 24-year-old’s cousin, Anihera Paku, wrote on Facebook hours before the police announcement.
Following the eruption, Maangi’s partner, Kuini Morehu-Waenga, suffered a sleepless night with worry and is now "absolutely devastated,” the Newshub website reported.
The couple have been "inseparable" since they met, it said. They grew up together and were best friends for years before starting a relationship about three years ago.
Maangi began his job with White Island Tours in September and was really enjoying the position, Paku said.
Maangi's grandmother, who did not want to be identified by name, was at Whakatāne Wharf early Tuesday waiting for news.
"We're hoping he may have found a cave but knowing him, he would have been helping others before he thought about himself," the grandmother told NZ Herald.