Fatal volcanic eruption in New Zealand: complaints against organizers

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Fatal volcanic eruption in New Zealand: complaints against organizers

Spectacular Aubruch des Whakaari. Image: EPA

Less than a year after a devastating volcanic eruption in New Zealand that left 22 dead, the local occupational health and safety authority filed charges against ten tour operators and three people.

During an investigation, WorkSafe New Zealand found that the organizers of tours to White Island had not complied with legal safety obligations, it said in a statement.

Volcano erupted in New Zealand

Video: srf/Roberto Krone

The Whakaari volcano erupted on December 9th when 47 tourists were on the small island about 50 kilometers from New Zealand’s North Island. Among them were visitors from China, the USA, Great Britain and Germany. Smoke and ash were hurled more than 3,500 meters high. The volcano had been increasingly active again for some time, but boats with tourists kept going there. Entering the island was only permitted with trained guides.

“This was an unexpected event, but that doesn’t mean it was unpredictable. And the operators are obliged to protect the people in their care, ”it said. The organizers and people are now threatened with high fines.

New Zealand is located on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, the geologically most active zone on earth. It was the first fatal eruption of the 320 meter high mountain of fire since 1914. At that time ten miners were killed. (aeg / sda / dpa)

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The volcanic eruption on White Island

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