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Eerie first pics of deadly NZ island

It was the horror eruption on a popular volcanic island off the coast of New Zealand that left 21 people dead and many more with horrific injuries.Now, a filmmaker has captured the first images from the air of White Island to show how the volcanic remains look 10 months after the disaster.Filmmaker Geoff Mackley asked…

It was the horror eruption on a popular volcanic island off the coast of New Zealand that left 21 people dead and many more with horrific injuries.

Now, a filmmaker has captured the first images from the air of White Island to show how the volcanic remains look 10 months after the disaster.

Filmmaker Geoff Mackley asked for permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to enter the no-fly zone and photograph what lingered below.

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In an interview with Stuff, Mr Mackley said he could still smell the sulphur during his visit, and while there was no heat coming off the island – he could see a yellow chemical slick swirling into the ocean.

Sending the drone into the sky, Mr Mackley shot the video showing the volcano below which is the first documentation of close-up images since the December 9 eruption.

“It’s not like it was before, where there was clearly defined tracks,” he said.

“They’ve been totally obliterated. It’s like no-one has ever been there. So yeah, it’s pretty eerie.”

Mr Mackley said he witnessed mud and ash, however there was no clear sign of destruction aside from the abandoned helicopter on the island with its broken blade after being blown off the helipad during the 2.11pm blast.

Despite being close to the island to capture the shots, Mr Mackley said he wasn’t “nervous” about his visit to the waters surrounding the eruption site.

“Obviously I know that it can blow up without warning at any time,” he said.

“It’s Russian roulette. Something’s not highly likely to happen today, but if you were going out there every day, something will happen eventually.

“The volcano doesn’t care what we’re doing up top, it will do what it wants to do. It’s really just unfortunate that it happened when it did. There were 20 other hours in each day when it could have happened when there was no-one there, and all night.

“You obviously thought about what went on out there and how terrible it would have been.”

Since the eruption, no one has stepped foot on the island that used to once bring in millions in tourism dollars each year.

Many of the visitors to the island were trapped by the plumes of smoke, unable to outrun the acidic gas and ash that surrounded them.

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