Two teenage brothers with ties to the Chicago area are among the victims who lost their lives after a volcano erupted in New Zealand Monday, multiple media outlets have reported.
According to the Chicago Tribune, 16-year-old Berend Hollander and 13-year-old Matthew Hollander died after being taken to a hospital after the White Island eruption.
Their parents, Martin and Barbara Hollander, are listed as still missing on the New Zealand Red Cross family links website.
The family moved from Northbrook, a suburb north of Chicago, to Australia about five years ago, WLS-TV reported. The teens’ mother is from the area , and their father is from Sydney.
“We are together with our family grieving the loss of our loved ones,” Barbara’s parents said in a statement sent to the TV station. “Our amazing daughter, Barbara Hollander, and our son-in-law, Martin Hollander, were a wonderful couple and parents to our grandsons.”
New Zealand medical staff were continuing to work around the clock treating severely burned survivors of the eruption as the estimated death toll climbed to 16 early Thursday.
The enormity of the task facing doctors in burn units around the country became clear when Dr. Peter Watson, a chief medical officer, said at a news conference that they had needed to order extra skin from American skin banks.
Watson said staff anticipated needing an extra 1,300 square feet of skin for grafts for patients. Most of those who survived the eruption suffered burns, and 28 patients remain hospitalized, including 23 in critical condition.
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Police believe 47 visitors were on the island at the time of the eruption, 24 of them Australian, nine Americans, five New Zealanders and others from Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Many were passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Ovation of the Seas.
The volcano has continued venting steam and mud, delaying plans by authorities to recover the bodies of victims. But authorities announced in a news release that the New Zealand Defense Force, police and other agencies will begin recovering bodies Friday morning local time.
Authorities believeeight bodies remain on the island.
Contributing: Nick Perry, Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.