A volcanic eruption on Monday killed at least six people, left eight others presumed dead and injured many more, including passengers from a Royal Caribbean cruise.
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Police are questioning why 47 people – including the cruise passengers were on White island at the time of the eruption, according to USA TODAY.
The island had seen an upswing in seismic activity in recent weeks.
Royal Caribbean provided FOX Business with the following statement:
"We are working to help our guests and the authorities in the aftermath of this tragedy in any way we can. We are communicating with our guests and their families. We’re making sure they are taken care of in terms of medical help, counseling, accommodations, and transport. Our hearts go out to them, and we want to be as supportive as we can. Staff from our Sydney and Auckland offices office are already onsite, and we’re going to be offering all our resources while this terrible tragedy sorts out."
|RCL||ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES||58.26||-6.22||-9.65%|
Is the cruise company liable for injuries to passengers from the Ovation of the Seas who were touring the island at the time?
One expert says probably not, but that comes with caveats. Jeff Ment, a travel industry attorney at Ment Law Group, told USA TODAY that a cruise line's responsibility is typically contingent on the partnerships they engage in.
Cruise operators partner with vendors that run excursions or it could have been an official excursion run by Royal Caribbean, but that has not been determined.
It may be the vendor's duty to make a final call on whether an excursion is safe or not.