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New Zealand volcano: Tour guide named among victims
9 December 2019, 22:27
An experienced New Zealand tour guide who died doing "what he loved" in the White Island eruption has been confirmed to be among the victims.
Hayden Marshall-Inman was one of five people confirmed dead after a White Island volcano erupted on Monday at 2.11pm local time as tourists visited.
The brother of the tour guide, Mark Inman confirmed the news on Facebook, writing: "Friends and family, very sad news this evening.
"My bro Hayden Marshall-Inman has past away doing the one thing he loved. Thanks for all your messages. I’ll be in touch when we know more."
One Facebook user commented on the post: "I remember him from my tour not so long ago. Straight talker with safety as a priority.
"Kind, a good laugh. I looked for him in pics and hoped he would be ok so I'm gutted for you all and I'm shocked. Can't believe it. He was larger than life."
Tony Bonne, the former mayor of Whakatāne, where Mr Marshall-Inman was from, described him as "a young energetic man", the New Zealand Herald reported.
Mr Marshall-Inman's employer White Island Tours Limited released a statement, saying it was "deeply saddened" at the volcano's significant eruption.
Two British women are in hospital after being injured in the eruption on White Island, the UK High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke has said.
Friends and family, very sad news this evening. My bro Hayden Marshall-Inman has past away doing the one thing he loved. Thanks for all your messages. I’ll be in touch when we know more.Posted by Mark Inman on Sunday, 8 December 2019
Around 50 people were either on the active volcano or near it when it erupted, with rescue services unable to access the area.
Local police said earlier that they did not believe there were any survivors on White Island following the eruption.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that at least five have died, eight people are missing and 31 more are in hospital.
Ms Ardern said: "We can confirm that amongst those currently listed as missing or injured are New Zealanders...[and] tourists from Australia, the US, the UK, China and Malaysia."
She added there are still a number of people in critical condition with burns the most prominent injury.
Ms Ardern said: "To those who have lost or are missing family and friends we share in your unfathomable grief at this moment in time and in your sorrow.
"Your loved ones stood alongside Kiwis who are hosting you here and we grieve with you and we grieve with them."