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After Volcanic Blast in New Zealand, Relatives Await Word of Loved Ones

About 47 people were on White Island on Monday, when the volcano erupted. Now, their loved ones back home are desperately searching for information about them.

Officials said eight of the 47 people were still missing as of Tuesday evening. Six people were confirmed to have died, and about 30 had been taken to hospitals to be treated for burns, many of them severe, officials said. The police said they were still trying to identify both the dead and the injured.

The death toll was expected to rise.

“We can never say 100 percent, but I would strongly suggest that there is no one who has survived on the island,” John Tims, the deputy commissioner of the New Zealand Police, said on Tuesday.

Mr. Tims said the 47 people on the island during the eruption came from seven countries: 24 from Australia, nine from the United States, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two from the United Kingdom, two from China and one from Malaysia.

Officials had not named any of the victims as of Tuesday morning. But reports began emerging about the people who were on the island when the volcano erupted, some of whom had gone there on an excursion from a nearby cruise ship.

In the minutes before the volcano erupted, Hayden Marshall-Inman, from Whakatane, New Zealand, was likely guiding visitors to the island carefully toward its crater, as he had done dozens of times before.

Friends and relatives said on Tuesday that Mr. Marshall-Inman, a tour guide and boat captain at White Island Tours, was among the dead, but that had not been officially confirmed. His brother, Mark Inman, wrote on Facebook that he died “doing the one thing he loved.”

Mr. Marshall-Inman, 40, was well-loved by friends and colleagues, who described him as a gregarious, experienced and risk-averse guide.

“He would never enter that island, or take people if he didn’t feel it was safe,” said Dawn Cobb, a close friend.

“There wasn’t a bad bone in that man’s body,” she added, describing him as “a simple New Zealand guy” who rarely wore shoes, traveled only with carry-on luggage and inspired the hundreds of international tourists who had participated in his tours.

Mr. Marshall-Inman grew up in Ohope, a beach town on New Zealand’s northeast coast. He worked as a tour guide for several years before becoming a captain with White Island Tours, which is thought to have been guiding many visitors around the volcano on Monday.

“A lot of the locals, they’ll be hurting,” said Stefen Leach, the manager of Ohope Chartered, a sports and recreation club where Mr. Marshall-Inman had previously worked. “It’s a tragedy.”

The missing included a family on vacation together: Anthony Langford, 51; Kristine Langford, 44; Jesse Langford, 19; and Winona Langford, 17.

Diana Bonazza, a family friend, said in an interview on Tuesday that she knew they were on the island but had been unable to reach them. She held out hope that they were in the hospital but had not been able to confirm their identities yet.

“They are just wonderful people, they have a heart of gold,” she said. “I’m just still getting used to the idea that they may be gone.”

Matthew and Lauren Urey, of Richmond, Va., were on their honeymoon after getting married in October. Both survived the eruption but were sent to the hospital with extensive burns.

“This isn’t a joke; the volcano actually erupted while we were on the island,” Mr. Urey said in a voice mail message to his mother, obtained by Inside Edition. “Lauren and I got pretty badly burned, so we’re at the hospital in New Zealand. My hands are burned so I can’t use my phone.”

His mother, Janet Urey, told Inside Edition that her son had been “severely burned” on his arms, legs and back.

Lauren Urey’s mother, Barbara Barham, told The Washington Post that Lauren had excitedly called her on Monday after their cruise ship had docked in nearby Tauranga.

“My husband was joking around and said, ‘I hope it’s not a live volcano,’ ” she said.

A family spokesman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Lisa Dallow, 48, of Adelaide, Australia, was confirmed to be alive, and was being treated at a hospital for burns. But there was no word on her daughter, Zoe Hosking, 15, or her husband, Gary Dallow, 53.

Mr. Dallow’s father, Brian, told ABC that he knew the three had been on the island, but had no further information.

“At the moment, we think they might be in hospital,” he said. “We’re not sure.”

Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, of Brisbane, Australia, went to the island on a cruise ship excursion, Barbara Whitehead, Ms. Richards’ sister, told ABC. They were believed to be missing on Tuesday, and Ms. Whitehead said she was unable to find reliable information from the authorities.

“We’ve rung the hospital; we’ve rung the cruise line; we’ve rung the New Zealand police hotline and nobody can tell us anything,” she said.

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