New Zealand volcano survivor will wake from coma to find family dead

Teenage survivor of New Zealand volcano horror will discover his whole family were killed in the tragedy when he wakes from coma after suffering 90 per cent burns

  • Survivor Jesse Langford, 19, is recovering from 90 per cent burns in hospital 
  • His parents Kristine, 45, and Anthony, 51, both died in the White Island eruption 
  • Sister Winona, 17, is presumed dead though her body has not yet been found 

A teenage survivor of the New Zealand volcano eruption will wake from a coma to discover that his whole family was killed in the disaster.

Jesse Langford, 19, suffered 90 per cent burns during the White Island disaster and is currently recovering in hospital in Sydney.

His parents Kristine, 45, and Anthony, 51, both died in the eruption, while his sister Winona, 17, is presumed dead although her body has not yet been found.  

New Zealand police warned today that Winona’s body has probably been washed out to sea and may never be found. 

The family had been visiting White Island, which is 31 miles off New Zealand, as part of a day tour from the Ovation Of The Seas cruise.

In a statement, Jesse’s extended family said he is recovering in hospital and paid tribute to the three Langfords who were killed in the disaster.

Winona’s 19-year-old brother Jesse (pictured with their father) survived the volcano eruption, and is recovering in hospital with burns to 90 per cent of his body

Ms Langford shared this photo of herself, her husband, and Jesse – presumably taken by Winona – of them about to board the ship 

The family statement said: ‘Jesse is recovering in hospital, receiving excellent care. 

Anthony and Kristine, loving parents to Jesse and Winona, were a wonderful couple and devoted to both their immediate and ­extended families. They will be greatly missed by all who knew them.’ 

Winona’s body is one of two which remain missing, along with that of 40-year-old tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman. 

Today New Zealand police said they believe the bodies have been washed out to sea and may never be found. 

Deputy commissioner Mike Clement said a storm soon after the eruption washed the bodies down a stream and into the Pacific Ocean.

‘We are deeply sorry that we haven’t, until this time, been able to return those bodies,’ he told reporters in the town of Whakatane on the mainland today. 

‘That has been our mission throughout, firstly to save people and then to recover people. 

‘It hurts us, and it hurts our people and it hurts everybody in this community when we don’t achieve that purpose.

We haven’t given up, but what I am here to do is to signal to everybody that we have reached a phase where we are literally in the hands of the sea.’  

Budding student: Winona shows off artwork of her pet rabbit alongside Mayor of Willoughby, Gail Giles-Gidney, at the local Pet Festival just weeks before her death

Winona Langford’s body feared to have been washed out to sea and may never be found. Pictured: The 17-year-old in a social media snap

Winona’s parents Kristine, 45, and Anthony, 51, both died. Her brother is fighting for life. The family is pictured before their cruise left Sydney on 4 December

The bodies could yet be found at sea or wash ashore on New Zealand’s East Cape, but police say they will scale back their search. 

There have also been fears that rain could cause the bodies to could become entombed on White Island like the victims of Pompeii.  

Helicopter pilots from New Zealand’s Defence Force have attempted to search for the bodies from the air but have been hampered by bad weather.   

Before they set off on the cruise, Kristine Langford shared a photo of herself, her husband, and Jesse – presumably taken by Winona – of them about to board the ship.

‘My first post in a while. We’re off cruising on #royalcarribeancruise Happy birthday [Anthony Langford]. Bon voyage everyone!’ she wrote. 

Jesse (centre) was found in hospital, alive but with burns to 90 per cent of his body, but his parents (pictured with him) and little sister are dead

An aunt of Winona and Jesse posted a family photo on Facebook in mourning. Winona is pictured bottom left, Ms Langford second left, Mr Langford far right, and Jesse second right

The other person still missing is New Zealand tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman (pictured), 40

Jesse’s former principal at Marist College North Shore, Tony Duncan, asked parents and staff to pray for his safety.  

‘Jesse, who graduated last year, was a talented and popular student during his time at the school, finishing up as MacKillop House captain.

‘Jesse has been a student at Marist since Year 7, with his family remembered fondly around the College. Please have the Langford family in your prayers.’

Mr Langford senior was a long-time employee of Sydney Water and his wife was a stay-home mother to the two children.

On Monday, hundreds of mourners gathered in New Zealand to remember the victims.

Family and friends of the dead and injured, along with local residents, gathered at Mataatua Marae, in Whakatane, for an emotional service.

They, along the rest of New Zealand, observed a minute’s silence to honour the victims.

Local Maori elder Joe Harawira said more than 200 people gathered at the centre. Mourners were also heard singing and embracing outside.   

White Island (pictured) erupted at 2.11pm local time last Monday, and has claimed the lives of 16 people

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Mataatua Marae in Whakatane (pictured) in a memorial for the victims of the White Island volcano tragedy

More than 200 people came to the memorial service with many singing and embracing as part of the ceremony (pictured)

Mourners left heartfelt and handwritten messages (pictured) to those impacted by and lost in the White Island volcano tragedy 

Australian victims in White Island tragedy: The dead and injured

Twenty four Australians were among 47 tourist on White Island when it erupted.   

THE DEAD: 

Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, from Brisbane, have been officially confirmed dead. 

Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, (pictured) from Brisbane are among the dead

Martin Hollander and his wife Barbara

Martin Berend Hollander, 48, from Sydney, was missing but was formally identified on Monday.

His two sons Berend, 16, and Matthew, 13, who attended Sydney’s Knox Grammar, both died in hospital last week after suffering serious injuries in the blast.  

According to his Linkedin profile, Mr Hollander works at Transport for NSW as a freight initiatives manager.

He is also a director at a Singaporean investment management firm, Wipunen Incrementum Capital.

He was on a family holiday with his wife, who remains unaccounted for, and two kids, who were confirmed dead on Thursday. 

Martin Berend Hollander, 48, from Sydney, was formally identified on Monday. His wife Barbara (left) is yet to be formally identified 

Gavin Dallow, 53, and stepdaughter Zoe Hosking, 15, from Adelaide 


The Hosking/Dallow family had been on a tour at the time of the eruption. Mum Lisa Dallow is among the injured in hospital. Her husband Gavin (right) 53, and 15-year-old daughter Zoe, from Adelaide, (left) were confirmed dead on Wednesday 

Mr Dallow’s body was identified by police from the five bodies recovered from the island. Zoe was formally identified as a victim on Sunday. 

Karla Mathews, 32, and Richard Elzer, 32, from Coffs Harbour, NSW 

Karla Mathews (left), 32, is dead as is boyfriend Richard Elzer (right), 32, from Coffs Harbour

The couple were identified as those tourists still on the island and therefore presumed dead by their families on Wednesday.

Jason Griffiths, 33, Coffs Harbour, NSW  

Jason Griffiths, 33, from Coffs Harbour was taken to hospital in critical condition but died from his injuries on Wednesday 

Jason Griffiths, 33, from Coffs Harbour, NSW, died from his injuries on Wednesday after being taken to hospital in critical condition. 

He was officially confirmed dead by police on Monday. 

He had been on a tour of the volcano with couple Karla Mathews, 32, and Richard Elzer, 32, who are now presumed dead, friends said.  

Matthew (Year 8) and Berend Hollander (Year 10) from Sydney


Matthew (left, year eight) and Berend (right, year 10) Hollander were confirmed dead on Thursday morning

Knox Grammar schoolboy brothers Matthew, 13, and Berend, 16, Hollander were confirmed dead on Thursday morning.

They died in two New Zealand hospitals after escaping the island with horrific burns. 

Their father Martin was confirmed dead on Monday, while their mother Barbara is yet to be confirmed dead or identified by police.  

Krystal Browitt, 21, from Melbourne 

Krystal Browitt was on the cruise for her 21st birthday with family

Ms Browitt was formally identified as a victim on Saturday. She was on the Ovation of the Seas cruise for her 21st birthday with family.

Her father Paul and sister Stephanie are in serious condition in hospital. Her mother Marie escaped death by staying on the cruise liner. 

Anthony Langford, 51, and his wife Kristine Langford, 45, from Sydney 

Anthony Langford, 51, (pictured with wife Kristine) had been among those still unaccounted for in the disaster. He was confirmed dead by police on Sunday 

Kristine Langford, 45, from Sydney, is also among those officially confirmed dead on Monday. 

The body of her husband Anthony, 51 was formally identified on Sunday, and her daughter Winona, 17, is still missing and presumed dead.

The couple’s 19-year-old son Jesse survived the volcano eruption, and is recovering in hospital with burns to 90 per cent of his body.   

Mr Langford worked for Sydney Water. 

Winona Langford, 17, Sydney   

Police said Winona Lanford (pictured centre back row between her parents Anthony and Kristine) was one of the missing bodies still on White Island. She is not thought to have survived 

On Tuesday, NZ Police said one of the bodies still missing on White Island belonged to 17-year-old Winona Langford from Sydney. 

Winona’s mother and father have been confirmed dead while her brother Jesse remains in hospital.

Her body is either entombed on the deadly volcano island or is in the sea.  

THE INJURED: 

Lisa Dallow, 49, from Adelaide

Lisa Dallow (right with her husband Gavin who is missing), 49, from Adelaide

She is an induced coma in Hamilton Hospital, with 57 per cent of her body burnt

Jesse Langford, 19, Sydney

Found: Jesse Langford (pictured with Michelle Spring, believed to be his girlfriend) is in hospital but his condition is not clear

He has been identified among the injured in hospital. He is reported to have suffered burns to 90 per cent of his body 

 

 

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