US couple gives evidence to New Zealand court in case against island’s owners and tourism operators

An American couple who were badly burned when Whakaari/White Island erupted in December 2019, killing 22 of the 47 people in its crater, told a New Zealand court that neither their guides nor anyone else involved in their trip to the crater told them that such an event was likely – or even possible. Information about the dangers they faced on the island volcano was minimal, they said, and safety protections lax.

Evidence from Matthew Urey, 40, and Lauren Urey, 36, opened the prosecution’s case in the Auckland district court on Wednesday, beginning a lengthy trial for the island’s owners and other tourism companies involved in the ill-fated trip.

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