Police have confirmed they are launching a criminal investigation into the deaths caused by yesterday's eruption on Whakaari / White Island.
Speaking at a media conference late this afternoon, deputy police commissioner John Tims said the terms of reference for the investigation will be decided on in the next few days.
He said the bodies of the five people killed by the eruption have been taken to Auckland.
Mr Tims confirmed the people who were near the eruption included 24 people from Australia, nine people from USA, five people from New Zealand, four people from Germany, two people from China, two people from UK, one person from Malaysia.
He said at this stage they can not break down the numbers any further.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Pete Watson said 25 of the 31 people injured by the eruption are in burns units in Christchurch, Hutt Valley, Waikato and Middlemore Hospitals.
Six patients have been transferred to Tauranga and Auckland to be treated and will transferred to the four regional burns units as soon as there there is capacity.
Mr Watson said all of the burns units are currently at capacity.
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