More Australians confirmed dead in New Zealand volcano eruption

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-12 16:26:21|Editor: xuxin
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CANBERRA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The number of Australians among the victims of the New Zealand volcano eruption has risen on Thursday.

The Knox Grammar school in Sydney on Thursday confirmed that brothers Berend and Matthew Hollander, aged 16 and 13, died in hospital from injuries sustained in the New Zealand White Island volcano eruption on Monday. According to Guardian, their parents remained missing.

At a press conference on Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also confirmed the death of another Australian Jason Griffiths.

"I can confirm that Jason Griffiths passed away yesterday in New Zealand," he said. "He had been evacuated and he passed away with family members present yesterday. And we send our deep sympathies to all the family and friends of Jason."

Griffiths, 33, was travelling with eight other friends, including couple Richard Elzer and Karla Matthews, who are listed among those missing, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.

According to a statement from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) the trio's friends said they "embarked upon a cruise as a group of nine close friends who were looking forward to a wonderful holiday together."

"We enjoyed the first five days of our trip and have many memories that will stay with us forever," they said.

Queensland woman Julie Richards, her 20-year-old daughter Jessica, and South Australian Gavin Dallow have been confirmed among those who died earlier in the week. Dallow's 15-year-old stepdaughter Zoe Hosking was among those still unaccounted for.

"In the days ahead, there will be worse news," said Morrison.

"Sadly there are 10 further Australians who are missing and presumed deceased. That is the total of the 24 Australians that I noted recently, the other day, who were caught up in visiting the island on that day. There are also four permanent residents who we have been able to identify have been caught up in these events," he said.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers have travelled to New Zealand to help identify bodies.

According to New Zealand official information, the volcanic eruption on White Island on Monday has caused eight deaths and nine missing presumed dead, with 21 people remained in New Zealand hospitals.

Two Chinese nationals were among those injured in the volcanic eruption, according to the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand.