POLICE have officially named the first victim of New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption, as recovery efforts continue to be made in search of victims.
Krystal Eve Browitt was a 21-year-old Australian from Melbourne who was visiting the island with her family. Both her father Paul and sister Stephanie are in hospital where they are being treated for serious injuries.
Krystal was a former student at Kolbe Catholic College, with principal Nick Scully describing her earlier in the week as a “beautiful soul”. Mr Scully said he was praying Krystal’s sister Stephanie would make a full recovery.
Today (December 14), New Zealand police confirmed a person that was being treated at Waikato Hospital had died, bringing the death toll to 15, while 20 people remain in intensive care after suffering severe burns.
Meanwhile, the remains of 6 people were successfully retrieved on Friday, December 13, after a military team in gas masks and hazmat suits went onto the island and removed the bodies in a high-risk operation.
Specialist rescue teams have also faced challenging conditions in the search of the waters near White Island to retrieve the remains of two people who perished in the tragic event.