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New Zealand Military Retrieves Bodies From Volatile Volcano

  • Six bodies recovered from White Island amid risk of eruption
  • Disaster has claimed at least 16 lives, death toll may climb
Recovery operation at White Island on Dec. 13.
Recovery operation at White Island on Dec. 13.Photographer: New Zealand Defence Force via Getty Images
Updated on

New Zealand’s defense force retrieved six bodies from an offshore volcano on Friday even as scientists warned there was a heightened risk of another eruption.

The daring military operation to White Island, which erupted on Monday, began at daybreak despite volcanologists estimating a 50-60% chance of another explosion over a 24-hour period. Recovery of the bodies had been delayed as authorities assessed the risks, but pressure from families grew amid fears another eruption could make retrieval impossible.