An American Citizen Died After Being Injured in the Deadly Volcanic Eruption in New Zealand
An American citizen who was injured in this month’s volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island has died, according to U.S. officials.
A spokesperson with the U.S. State Department confirmed that an American citizen injured in the incident had passed away but did not release the victim’s identity. “We extend our sincerest condolences to the families of all those lost,” the agency said in a statement emailed to TIME.
U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown said in a public statement that supporting victims and their families continues to be the agency’s “primary focus.”
At least 17 people have died as a result of the deadly Dec. 9 eruption, New Zealand Police reported in an update on Monday. The search for another two missing victims has since been suspended. A spokesperson with the New Zealand Police said the agency was not yet in a position to to release the name of the victim.
White Island is a popular tourist destination off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
Police previously said that 47 people appeared to be on the island at the time of the eruption. Of these 47, nine people were from the United States. Other Americans who died include teenagers Berend Hollander, 16, and Matthew Hollander, 13. The duo were Australian permanent residents but their family appeared to have moved from Chicago to Sydney several years ago.