An American couple on their dream honeymoon to New Zealand were seriously burned in Monday’s deadly volcano eruption, according to new reports.
Richmond, Va., newlyweds Matthew and Lauren Urey were on a day trip to White Island from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Ovation when the volcano went off, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Matthew, 36, was airlifted to a hospital in Christchurch with burns over 80 percent of his body, while Lauren, 32, underwent surgery at an Auckland hospital with burns over 20 percent of her body, the paper reported.
Matthew later left a frantic voice message at his mother’s home telling her he and his new wife were “very badly burned.”
Barbara Barham, Lauren’s mother, told The Washington Post that she learned her daughter had been hurt when she got a call from Matthew’s mom.
“Her son called and said that they had been on the excursion and there had been a volcano eruption and they were burned very bad,” Barham told the outlet.
“He said he would try to call as soon as he could, but talking and making phone calls was difficult,” she said. “His hands were so badly burned it was hard for him to make a phone call.”
The American couple were among 31 hospitalized after the blast, according to officials.
Authorities said five people were killed while eight others were listed as missing and presumed dead Tuesday morning local time. More US tourists are believed to be among those dead or missing.
Thirty-eight of those hurt, injured or missing were passengers aboard the Ovation.
Among those missing is a popular 24-year-old White Island tour guide, Tipene Maangi, the Herald said.
Maangi’s family said he had just started working at White Island Tours in September.
“We’re hoping he may have found a cave but knowing him, he would have been helping others before he thought about himself,” his grandmother said.
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