WHAKATANE — New Zealand officials said they'll begin Friday to recover eight victims' bodies believed to remain on a small island since a volcanic eruption there earlier this week.
Continuing volcanic activity has delayed the retrieval of the bodies on ash-covered White Island, where an eruption occurred Monday as 47 tourists were exploring the landscape.
In addition to the bodies left on the island, eight other people were killed and dozens were severely burned by the blast of scalding steam and ash.
New Zealand medical staff were working around the clock to treat the injured survivors in hospital burn units.
The enormity of the task was clear when Dr. Peter Watson, a chief medical officer, said at a news conference that extra skin has been ordered from American skin banks. Hospital personnel anticipated needing an extra 120 square meters of skin for grafting onto the patients, Watson said.