Fny a year after the fatal eruption of the White Island volcano, New Zealand’s occupational safety and health authority has brought a lawsuit against ten tour operators and three people responsible for the companies and organizations involved. They are accused of failing to adequately fulfill their security obligations by bringing tourists to the active volcanic island.
As a result of the outbreak, 22 people were killed and 25 others were injured, some seriously. Only last week it became known that a tourist from Germany had died in July as a result of his injuries.
Shortly before the eruption, experts had noticed increased activity on the volcano and raised the warning level. Even so, at the time of the outbreak there were 47 people on the island, most of them Australians who had traveled on the cruise ship “Ovation of the Seas”.
“Those who visited the island had a reasonable expectation that there were adequate procedures in place to guarantee them a healthy and safe return home,” said agency chief Phil Parkes. While the outbreak was an unexpected event, that doesn’t mean it was unpredictable, Parkes said. The organizers and those responsible for the company are now facing high fines.