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  1. ITV Report

Nine people missing and feared dead after volcano explosion named by authorities as confirmed death toll rises to eight

The volcano erupted in a plume of ash and smoke on Monday. Credit: Michael Schade/AP

Nine people missing after a volcanic eruption in New Zealand have been named by authorities.

It comes as two of the 31 injured died in hospital following the natural disaster at White Island on Monday, bringing the total number of dead to eight.

Among those named as missing by New Zealand Police are two Kiwi tour guides and seven tourists from Sydney.

It takes the number of those feared dead - including those already confirmed dead - in the explosion to 17.

A further 28 rescued people remain hospitalised, including 23 with critical burns.

Half of the 47 visitors on the island when the volcano erupted were Australians and most were from a cruise ship, which had left Australia earlier in the week.

Who are the people among those feared dead?

Flowers have been placed in memory of those missing in a New Zealand town. Credit: AP

Authorities say there were 24 Australians, nine Americans, five New Zealanders, four Germans, two Britons, two Chinese people and a Malaysian on the island when the disaster struck.

Those feared dead include a father and stepdaughter, Gavin Dallow and 15-year-old Zoe, from Adelaide.

Julie and Jessica Richards, a mother and daughter from Brisbane, are also feared killed.

Police said Karla Matthews and Richard Elzer, both 32, a couple from the Australian east coast town of Coffs Harbor, are among those missing.

A 21-year-old Melbourne student Krystal Browitt is also among the missing.

Two tour guides, Hayden Marshall-Inman and Tipene Maangi, are also feared to have died.

The volcano exploded on Monday as a number of people were visiting the island. Credit: AP

An operation to recover victims from the island has been delayed amid fears of worsening conditions, police said on Wednesday, as monitoring agency GeoNet said further eruptions on the island were likely.

Police said it was too dangerous to return to the island at present owing to the “serious physical and chemical hazards” rescuers would face.

White Island, off the country’s North Island in the Bay of Plenty, erupted while dozens of people were exploring New Zealand’s most active volcano.

The British High Commission in New Zealand has urged Britons travelling in the country to contact their family and friends to let them know they are safe.

Two British women were injured in the explosion.