NEW ZEALAND OFFICIALS CHARGE 13 PARTIES OVER WHITE ISLAND VOLCANO TRAGEDY
New Zealand’s health and safety authorities have filed charges against 13 parties over last year’s deadly White Island disaster that killed 22 people last December.
Ten parties now face charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act, which carries a maximum fine of NZ$1.5m ($1.06m; £0.79m).
A further three have been charged as directors or individuals.
These individuals, who have been accused of neglecting health and safety obligations, will face a maximum fine of NZ$300,000.
WorkSafe NZ said those charged could not be identified as they had a right to seek a suppression order on their names at a court appearance on 15 December.
The eruption on White Island, also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, happened on 9 December.
There were 47 people on the island: 24 from Australia, nine from the US, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two from China, two from the UK, and one from Malaysia.
The once popular tourist destination was visited by thousands every year, despite the fact that it had been erupting in some form since 2011.