New Zealand police open criminal probe into volcano deaths
New Zealand police are opening a criminal investigation into the deaths of tourists on a volcanic island where a powerful eruption of ash and scalding steam occurred as dozens of people were exploring the barren landscape.
Five deaths are confirmed and eight other people are feared dead, but unstable conditions on White Island were preventing a direct search for them. Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims did not go into details of the criminal investigation but said it would sit alongside an investigation by health and safety regulators. The announcement indicates authorities are concerned safety standards may have been breached.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)