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5 tourists dead after New Zealand volcano eruption

Five tourists died Monday when a volcano erupted in New Zealand, the BBC reported, citing police.

Tourists were reportedly seen hiking inside the crater of New Zealand’s White Island, the country’s most active volcano, before it erupted.

Twenty three people have been rescued but others remain unaccounted for, according to the BBC. Police reportedly said that fewer than 50 people were on the island at the time.

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The privately owned island is primarily a tourist destination.

New Zealand National Operation Commander Deputy Commissioner John Tims told CNN the casualties were from a “range of nationalities” but did not provide details.

Michael Shade, a tourist who was on White Island earlier in the day, tweeted a video of the site after the volcano erupted.

Shade told the BBC he was at the crater just 30 minutes before the eruption, which occurred at 2:11 p.m. local time.

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