New Zealand Police announced that the death toll of the White Island volcano eruption had risen to 8.
The local media network said on Wednesday that there are 29 other people who suffer from physical burns due to the volcano and are currently receiving the necessary treatment in hospitals in different regions in New Zealand.
The two latest confirmed fatalities were Berend Hollander, 16, and his brother Matthew Hollander, 13, both students at Knox Grammar school in Sydney.
“We are incredibly saddened to have lost three of our closest friends,” their friends Alex, Daniel, Ellie, Leanne, Paul and Samantha said in a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The volcano vented more steam and mud on Wednesday, prompting authorities to delay plans to recover the bodies of victims.
22 of the 29 suffer from serious burns and receive air support due to their condition.
Death toll from New Zealand volcanic eruption rose to 8 on Wednesday
New Zealand authorities will examine whether the White Island tour company were aware of any dangers or increased risks of an eruption.
Among the missing are Anthony and Kristine Langford from Sydney and their daughter Winona, 17. Their son Jesse, 19, has reportedly been identified as one of those being treated in hospital.
Police believe 47 visitors were on the island at the time of the eruption, 24 of them Australian, nine Americans, five New Zealanders and others from Germany, Britain, China and Malaysia. Many were passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Ovation of the Seas.
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