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Rescue helicopter footage shows sea stained with volcanic material after White Island eruption

Footage from the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust shot yesterday reveals what appears to be volcanic material visible in the sea off White Island/Whakaari after the deadly eruption.

At least five people are confirmed dead after the eruption at 2.11pm yesterday, with around 24 more people trapped on the island and feared dead.

Some of those visiting the island were able to be rescued by nearby boats shortly after the eruption.

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In video footage supplied to 1 NEWS, thick ash can be seen coating the majority of the Bay of Plenty island.

As the helicopter circles the island, a plume of smoke rises from the volcano's crater.

Rescue services have been unable to land on the island so far, due to risks of further eruptions.