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White Island Volcano: Australian survivors share pain of being separated from family after eruption as trial continues | White Island Volcano

Evidence was heard from Australian survivors in a criminal trial. new zealand Having lost his parents and sister in the 2019 volcanic eruption, he said he still struggles with the decision to leave his family to seek help.

Jessie Langford, from Sydney, was honored with her father, Anthony, 51, her mother, Christine, 46, and her sister, Winona, 17, at the Royal Caribbean cruise liner Ovation of the Year in December 2019. I was only 19 when I took the Seas for a family trip to New Zealand. .

Langford suffered burns to his hands, back and thighs, and his father, mother and sister died during a day trip to the Whakari White Island volcano off the north coast of New Zealand.

Mr Langford’s April 2020 video interview with police was played Monday in Auckland District Court, where Whakari White Island’s owner, ID Tours and Tauranga Tourism Service were accused of security breaches and 14 Australians. 22 people died, including

The island’s owners, the Battle family, ID Tours and Tauranga Tourism Services Limited, have been accused of violating health and safety regulations. Six individuals and entities pleaded not guilty to charges of violating health and safety laws.

Like previous Australian witness Annie Yongan Lu, Mr Langford said he was given no warning of the dangers before he went on the trip, received only a brief safety briefing on the day and had no emergency plans. Stated.

A tour group, including his family, was caught in a relatively flat and open area while descending from the crater when the volcano erupted, he said.

Langford said the force of the eruption threw her up a hill, hitting her face with flying stones before curling up in a fetal position and covering her head with her hands.

“We got hit by a cinematic sandstorm where you couldn’t see two meters ahead. It was very painful,” he said.

When the eruption clouds cleared, the island returned to the sunny days it had before, except everything was covered in gray ash.

“My father was having a hard time getting up and breathing while I was trying to remove the gas mask. My mother was not moving at all,” Langford said.

He said he felt pain all over his body and sat with the group for 15 to 20 minutes thinking about what he could do.

“I made the decision that I could not physically help anyone, but I could let people know that others survived… It still haunts me to make the decision to get up and leave.” I am,” Langford said.

After finding help on the pier and arriving at the hospital, Langford spent eight days in a coma and woke up in an Australian intensive care unit. His sister’s body was never found.

The trial started last week, and I got a call from: other survivors.

In March, ID Tours unsuccessfully sought to dismiss the charges against the company. It said the role of tourism in the “supply chain” falls short of what happened on the island, but the judge dismissed this claim.

Several other companies involved in facilitating trips to Whakari have already admitted their charges against them. Judgment will be handed down after the current trial, which is expected to take four months.

Organizations face fines of up to NZ$1.5 million ($930,000/£720,000) and individuals up to NZ$300,000 if convicted.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/17/white-island-volcano-australian-survivor-shares-pain-of-leaving-family-after-eruption-as-trial-continues White Island Volcano: Australian survivors share pain of being separated from family after eruption as trial continues | White Island Volcano

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