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New Zealand Announces Charges in Volcanic Eruption Investigation

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New Zealand Announces Charges in Volcanic Eruption Investigation

A year after a deadly volcanic eruption killed 22 people on New Zealand’s White Island, the country’s workplace safety regulator has charged 13 organizations and individuals for their roles in the disaster.

This deeply tragic event was unexpected, but that does not mean it was unforeseeable. The victims, both workers and visitors alike, all had a reasonable expectation that they could go to the island knowing that those organizations involved had done all they were required to do to look after their health and safety. But had they? That’s the question WorkSafe was mandated to investigate. After the largest and most complex investigation WorkSafe has ever undertaken, we have concluded that 13 parties did not meet their obligations and should face charges in court. It’s my hope that those connected with this terrible tragedy will take some comfort from knowing that those who we consider did not meet their obligations will have to account for their actions or inactions in court.

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