One person is dead, 20 are injured and at least 27 are missing after a volcano erupted near a group of tourists off the coast of New Zealand.
Whakaari also known as White Island, located 48km (29mi) off New Zealand’s North Island, erupted around 2.11pm local time on Monday blowing huge plumes of smoke and debris 12,000km (7,400mi) into the sky.
A group of tourists were pictured deep inside the crater just moments before the blast while others on a boat to the island were rushed inside as thick, black smoked billowed towards them.
New Zealand officials confirmed this afternoon one person has died and it is ‘likely’ there will be more fatalities.
‘At this stage it is too dangerous for police and rescue to go on to the island… the island is currently covered in ash and volcanic material,’ National Operation Commander Deputy Commissioner John Tims said on Monday.