Death toll from New Zealand volcanic eruption rises to 8

A handout satellite photo made available by MAXAR Technologies shows the White Island (Whakaari) volcano one day after erupting, in New Zealand, Dec. 11, 2019.

Two more people died from injuries sustained in Monday’s volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island, bringing the death toll to eight, local police announced on Wednesday.

Another eight people are missing and presumed dead.

Twenty-eight people remained hospitalized, many suffering from horrific burns. Twenty-three are in critical condition.

Some of the survivors fled into the sea to escape steam and ash that blasted out of the volcano, and suffered severe and extensive burns over as much as 95 percent of their bodies.

New Zealand ordered 186,000 square inches of skin grafts from the U.S. to treat the victims. “This number of burns is unprecedented in New Zealand,” said Dr. John Kenealy, clinical director of surgery at Counties Makanau, “and in the rest of the world.”

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