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.
The Whakaari volcano erupted on December 9, 2019, when 47 tourists were on the small island about 50 kilometers from New Zealand’s North Island. He had been more active 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. Only last week it became known that a German tourist died in July as a result of his serious injuries.
New Zealand’s natives, the Maori, call the volcano Te Puia o Whakaari. That means: “The dramatic volcano”. New Zealand lies 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 volcano since 1914, when ten miners were killed.