New Zealand Labor Inspectorate has charged ten organizations and three individuals in investigation of deadly volcanic eruption on White Island, reports TNVZ Monday. In the disaster in December 2019, 22 people were killed.
The labor inspectorate investigated, among other things, why group trips to the active volcano continued at the time, while three weeks earlier the threat level had increased due to a possible eruption.
Those involved would have taken too much risk, WorkSafe concludes. According to Phil Parkes, head of the labor inspectorate, the volcanic eruption was “unexpected,” but it did not come as a complete surprise. Therefore, the inspectorate filed a total of thirteen charges.
The ten organizations risk fines of up to 1.5 million New Zealand dollars (more than 882,000 euros). The three individuals can be fined up to 300,000 New Zealand dollars.
It has not yet been announced which organizations and individuals are involved. For privacy reasons, the labor inspectorate does not want to say who the accused are until December 15. On that day the organizations and individuals are presented. However, one of the defendants let it go TNVZ managed to be charged.
When the volcano on White Island erupted on December 9, 2019, 47 people were on the island. The natural disaster claimed 22 lives. Another 22 people were badly injured.