New Zealand's most active cone volcano White Island erupted on Monday at 2:15 p.m. local time, leaving at least one dead.
More than 30 tourists from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship were on White Island when the volcano erupted earlier today, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Cruise Association.
There has been one confirmed death, but authorities warn there will likely be more as they assess the situation.
There were about 4,000 passengers on the ship Ovation of The Seas, CEO Kevin O’Sullivan told CNN.
New Zealand police believe fewer than 50 people were on the island at the time of the eruption. 23 have been evacuated so far, and it remains unclear how many remain on the island.
Michael Schade, a tourist who had been on the volcano shortly before it erupted, was leaving the island on the boat when he saw a helicopter that looked "destroyed."
Those are some of the people put boat picked up. Praying for them and their recovery. Woman my mom tended to was in critical condition but seemed strong by the end.— Michael Schade (@sch)December 9, 2019
The helicopters on the island looked destroyed:pic.twitter.com/jds5QBD1yg
The video he took shows a helicopter with its rotor blades broken and bent out of shape, the ground around it covered in ash. The camera then pans to show plumes of dark smoke still coming from the volcano's vent.
It's not clear who was operating the helicopter or if there was anybody inside. Tourists often take helicopter rides above the volcanic island, and emergency services sent several helicopters to the island after the eruption.
This is a developing story and will be updated.