New Zealand police call off search for missing bodies

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Police in New Zealand are calling off the search for two bodies still missing after the White Island volcano.

The eruption on White Island earlier this month killed 19 people, including two people who were never found.

It’s thought the bodies of Winona Jane Langford, 17, and Hayden Bryan Marshall-Inman, 40, are in the water off the island.

Police said their decision “follows extensive shoreline and substantial aerial searches”.

But despite those searches, “no further items of significance have been located”.

“The families of the two missing people have been informed of this decision,” Superintendent Andy McGregor said. “Police remain ready to respond if new information comes to light.”

White Island volcano
The eruption on White Island, a popular tourist destination, happened on December 9.

There were 47 people on the island, with 24 from Australia, nine from the US, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two from China, two from the UK, and one from Malaysia.

Last week, police released the names of 17 victims, all of them from Australia, New Zealand, or the US.

They said Mr Marshall-Inman, a local tour guide, and Ms Langford, who was visiting the island with her family from Sydney, were missing but presumed dead.

The eruption killed Ms Langford’s parents, Anthony and Kristine, but her brother, Jesse, survived.

After the eruption, a helicopter pilot who flew to White Island to rescue survivors said he saw Mr Marshall-Inman “beyond help”.

When Mr Marshall-Inman’s family confirmed his death, a local supermarket said he would regularly leave $5 ($3.30US, £2.50) to help pay for others’ shopping.

The Langford family were passengers on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship and visited White Island on a day tour.

The surviving son, Jesse, is believed to have suffered severe burns.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu