6 bodies recovered in risky mission

Military specialists on New Zealand’s White Island have recovered six more victims’ bodies after a deadly volcanic eruption, bringing the confirmed death toll in the tragedy to 14.

Two others remain missing and are presumed dead, but Thursday’s recovery mission — an arduous affair for military specialists searching under the threat of another eruption — did not find them.

The effort began Friday morning local time after a blessing was held at sea with representatives of the families of the victims, a statement from New Zealand police Deputy Commissioner John Tims said

Recovered bodies were airlifted to a ship near the island, which held scientists, police and other military personnel involved in the mission. 

Police said another operation will be needed at a later time to recover other bodies.

The mission called for eight specialists to recover the bodies of eight victims. Those believed fatalities are in addition to the official death toll of the eruption, which stood at eight before the mission.

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