Minutes from disaster: Chilling video from day of eruption

Tourists and guides ready to depart the island prior to the explosion. Photo: via YouTube
Tourists and guides ready to depart the island prior to the explosion. Photo: via YouTube
Horrifying footage of how a popular tourist spot was turned into a place of tragedy has been released in a 12-minute video by a tourist who was on White Island minutes before the eruption.

Brazilian Allessandro Kauffman, who shared the video on Facebook, documented the entire trip - from the time the excited visitors boarded the boat to the Island, to the sense of panic when they witnessed the eruption when leaving the island.

Warning: Distressing content

Police said 47 people were on or near the island when the volcano erupted, eight have since died and eight more people are thought to still be on the island. Police said there were no further "signs of life".

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The video showed passengers arriving happy on the scenic island. Things were calm, and some took selfies as they walked towards the crater.

Alessandro Kauffmann walking on the island. Photo: Alessandro Kauffmann
Alessandro Kauffmann walking on the island. Photo: Alessandro Kauffmann
The crater lake, seen shortly before the eruption. Photo: Alessandro Kauffmann
The crater lake, seen shortly before the eruption. Photo: Alessandro Kauffmann

The tourists had finished the trip when footage showed them witnessing the aftermath of the eruption from on board the boat.

The moment that White Island erupted. Photo: Alessandro Kauffmann
The moment that White Island erupted. Photo: Alessandro Kauffmann
As a giant ash cloud raced across the island, shouts were made for the survivors to get inside the boat as it raced away from the site.

When the boat returned to the island, they were met with a ravaged landscape. Photo: Alessandro...
When the boat returned to the island, they were met with a ravaged landscape. Photo: Alessandro Kauffmann
People on board were heard shouting "Oh my god, go, go, go, go, we've got to get out of here."

Kauffmann, who had travelled to White Island with his partner Aline Moura, said they left the island and it "wasn't even five minutes before it erupted".

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