5 dead, multiple injured and missing after New Zealand volcano erupts

The surprise eruption occurred just after 2 p.m. on White Island and spewed ash 12,000 feet into the air.
2:16 | 12/09/19

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Transcript for 5 dead, multiple injured and missing after New Zealand volcano erupts
We begin with breaking news. A massive volcano erupting in New Zealand. Dozens of tourists were there exploring when the smoke and ash flew thousands of feet into the air killing at least five people and injuring others. Right now some are still missing and the situation as you can imagine extremely dangerous. ABC's James Longman starts us off with the latest. Good morning, James. Reporter: Yeah, good morning, robin. It's known as New Zealand's angriest volcano. Thousands visit every year but this eruption was totally unexpected. Some people were just feet from the crater when it exploded. Rescue workers are still unable to access the island because it's still too dangerous so the true number of those caught up in this is still unknown. No, no, no. Reporter: A ddly volcanic eruption rocking New Zealand. Go, go, go. Reporter: Tour boats race to escape the danger. At least five people dead and others missing. Authorities warn the death toll could rise. The sudden eruption hit just after 2:00 P.M. On New Zealand's white island. Volcanic ash spewing 12,000 feet into the air. If you were close to that, it is not good. Reporter: Around 50 people were on or around the island at the time. Many of them tourists. A sign of just how sudden this blow was, look how close these people were to the crater right before the explosion. An American tourist taking this video inside the rim just 20 minutes before. More than 20 people have been rescued from the island so far. A number of people have burns as a result of the eruption. It is still too early for police to confirm how many people are involved. Reporter: The dead are among those rescued and since the island is still too dangerous to access it's not known how many more may be hurt. It is covered with volcanic material and a no-fly zone in place. The danger of a second eruption still very real. It's quieted down but we can't be certain there won't be another eruption in the next 24 hours. Reporter: Now, as you were hearing there the fear of another eruption is still rather and scientists saying it's almost like the volcano was clearing its throat so another explosion possible. Rescue workers are now saying, though, there are no signs of life on the island. Amy. Ah, just devastating. All right, James, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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