The search for Aussie teenager Winona Langford, who went missing after the White Island volcano eruption, has been called off after two weeks.
The search for Aussie teenager Winona Langford, who went missing after the White Island volcano eruption, has been called off after two weeks.

Search for missing volcano teen Winona Langford cancelled

The search for an Australian teenage girl missing after the deadly New Zealand volcano eruption earlier this month has been called off.

Winona Langford, 17, of Sydney, remains missing two weeks after the White Island volcano erupted on December 9.

Tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, of New Zealand, also remains missing despite desperate search attempts to locate the pair.

"This decision (to call off the search) follows extensive shoreline and substantial aerial searches from east of White Island to north of Cape Runaway," Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor said, according to 9 News.

"The families of the two missing people have been informed of this decision."

 

The search has been called off for Sydney teenager Winona Langford. Picture: AAP
The search has been called off for Sydney teenager Winona Langford. Picture: AAP

Commander Superintendent McGregor said police were ready to act if new information became available.

The death toll from the eruption now stands at 19, including Ms Langford and Mr Marshall-Inman. The death toll rose on Monday night after another person died at an Auckland hospital on Monday night.

Ms Langford's parents were killed on White Island during the eruption. Her brother, Jesse, 19, remains in hospital. It's believed he sustained significant burns to most of his body during the blast. He is being treated in Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital.

Police in New Zealand last week scaled back their search for Ms Langford and Mr Marshall-Inman, saying their decision to wind back the searches had pained them. At once stage, recovery divers had been within metres of recovering the body of Mr Marshall-Inman, according to Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement.

The divers believed they spotted his body on December 11, two days after the volcano erupted, but "the reality was the conditions of the ocean meant they could not get close," Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said.

Many of those killed and injured in the eruption were Australian tourists who had been travelling aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship 'Ovation of the Seas'. Among those hospitalised with injuries were American honeymooners Lauren Urey, 32, and Matthew Urey, 36, from Richmond, Virginia.

New Zealand authorities are investigating the circumstances around the disaster.

-with AP



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