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New Zealand launches criminal investigation into deadly volcanic eruption

By Charlotte Greenfield

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... aerial reconnaissance flights showed no signs of life on White Island

This is terrible. I really hope and pray for their survival.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Never underestimates the deadly power of the natural!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Adventure tourism can sometimes be perilous.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yet daily tours bring more than 10,000 visitors to the volcano every year.

Quite pricey too, tourists paid aud 500.00 (about us300-350.00) a pop for the 7 hour-long tour. what a horrible way to die.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is terrible. I really hope and pray for their survival.

I mean, the missing were part of a group walking in the crater when the eruption happened. Its EXTREMELY unlikely that they'll even find any bodies... let alone survivors

2 ( +3 / -1 )

to be honest, at this point you actually hope to not find any survivors. just let them rest in peace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"If you play with fire, you get burned." R.I.P. to all who perished  and complete and speedy healing to all the injured.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

According to GeoNet the volcano has been showing increased activity for the last couple of months and has been at level 2 status which means an eruption is possible anytime. One wonders why people were still allowed on the island. 


7 ( +7 / -0 )

Jacinda's rule of the country will go down in history as a time of disaster and death! How has so much happened on her watch?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What is the criminal investigation about?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Mounting a criminal investigation to what end really?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What is the criminal investigation about?

Likely to see if the tour operators were negligent regarding their customers’ safety, I imagine. Still, the headline isn’t really addressed in the article.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Jacinda's rule of the country will go down in history as a time of disaster and death! How has so much happened on her watch?

I am no fan of the current NZ PM. However, let's get the facts right.


The most recent disaster in New Zealand that kills over 100 was the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. It is the fifth deadliest on the list. Jacinda was not prime minister yet. The only event on the list when she was PM was the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings that kills 51, the 19th deadliest on the list.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Okay negative voter, so you don’t think the criminal investigation is about that?

Geeze, some people are a little too quick with the plus minus. Normally I don’t care but this time it doesn’t even make any sense.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When I read the headline I wondered if they were going to arrest the volcano,

Sadly it is extremely unlikely anyone else has survived and given the horrible extent of the reported injuries I fear a number will not make it. For those that do, many will be scarred for life.

I can not comprehend how tour operators or cruise companies continued to send guests in to the Lion’s maw once it was raised to level 2? Criminal negligence at the least and a greedy disregard for their welfare.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hi all, when the article mentions ‘criminal investigation’ I’d assume in NZ (like Australia) there would be what we call a coronial inquiry (investigation) where there is loss of life in a disaster like this.

It would involve different agencies I am sure and could lead to legislation change or even prosecution of individuals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I read the headline I wondered if they were going to arrest the volcano,

I was half expecting that they were going to say the people walking away from the volcano threw something into it, thus causing it to erupt!!! Maybe a terrorist attack or something!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At this point in time there has not been a criminal inquiry launched. Worksafe NZ (health and safety) has launched an investigation and a previous announcement about a criminal investigation has been revised. I thought White Island has been off limits since a death there a couple of years back. Still so surprised that tourists were allowed on the island.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The 'criminal investigation' thing has been clarified/rephrased by nz police.

This from the ABC's website:

'He also said there would be "a criminal investigation into the circumstances of the death and injuries on White Island".

However, later in the afternoon New Zealand police released a statement saying there was no criminal investigation at this stage.

"To correct an earlier statement, it is too early to confirm whether there will also be a criminal investigation," the statement read.'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What would the criminal investigation be?

This is a tragic disaster that was caused by mother nature. As much as volcanoes sometimes give early warning signs of an impending eruption. Occasionally a volcano will also just erupt suddenly without much significant warning. As what happened with Mount Ontake in 2014 when it erupted whilst there were hikers on the summit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is what the police and other agencies would be doing at the direction of the coroner (court magistrate)


The coroner will then release their findings at the conclusion of the investigation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Horrific burns on exposed skin. Perhaps there will be stricter clothing regulations for anyone visiting the island from now on, if it is not declared permanently out-of-bounds to tourists.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There was nothing to suggest this volcano was about to blow. 

There was everything to suggest it was about to blow, eg recent increased activity and the issuing of the Level 2 warning, meaning an eruption possible at any time.

There should not have been anyone anywhere near the place.

I imagine the tourists, knowing no better, assumed that the tours being held meant that the place was safe.

The tour operators have some explaining to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ray Cas, a professor emeritus at Monash University, said the island "has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years".

"Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter," Cas said in comments published by the Australian Science Media Centre.

A professor deemed the island to be too dangerous to visit, and yet chose to actually visit the island twice in order to make his point. Seriously? It's a volcano. An active volcano. You pay your money, and you take your chances. Maybe it will blow it's top shortly before, or after, your visit? Then again, maybe it's the last thing you'll ever see.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A criminal investigation into the activities of Mother Nature?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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