Police working 'as quickly as possible' to return Whakaari/White Island victims to their families

There's a long process to formally identify the victims of the Whakaari/White Island disaster, but police say they're working as quickly as possible to do so.

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It was an emotional time for many of them today as they were taken close to the island for a ceremonial blessing. Source: 1 NEWS

Officials say they're following an internationally approved disaster management identification (DVI) process.

"The victims and their families are our priority but we also have important obligations," Deputy Commissioner John Tims says.

"We must work on behalf of the Coroner to ensure correct identification."

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It's a five-stage process including a post-mortem and ante-mortem - where information about the missing person is brought in from outside, such as dental records and fingerprints from official records.

After everything is completed and the identity is confirmed by the coroner, the family are advised.

"This is a long and complex process and we are working as quickly as possible to return loved ones to their families," Mr Tims says.

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