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New Zealand volcano: 2 missing bodies may never be found

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | December 18, 2019
New Zealand Police said that they are scaling down their search efforts for the bodies of two people missing after last week's volcanic eruption as they may never be found.
White Island in New Zealand
Tragedy in New Zealand   White Island in New Zealand
Forty-seven tourists were on White Island, known locally as Whakaari, when it erupted Dec. 9.

Topics: New Zealand volcano

On Friday, a mission was conducted to retrieve the bodies of eight people, presumed dead, from the island, of which six were returned. However, Australian Winona Langford, 17, and New Zealander tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, 40, remained missing.

Deputy police commissioner John Tims said in a statement that the search mission was being handed over to local authorities.

"It is the considered view of experts that those bodies have been washed out to sea following a significant weather event on the island the night of the eruption," Tims said. "There is no guarantee their bodies will be located and police recognize the immense pain this must cause their families."

He said police haven't given up but that with the chances of finding the bodies diminishing, the recovery operation would change.