Tuesday, 16 August, 2022

Tourist describes 'ordeal' of falling into NZealand geothermal sinkhole

Tourist describes 'ordeal' of falling into NZealand geothermal sinkhole

A woman who suffered severe burns after falling into a sinkhole of scalding steam at a New Zealand tourist site has spoken publicly about her ordeal, thanking rescuers as she recovers in hospital.

The woman from Perth, Australia, described tumbling into a scalding sinkhole that suddenly opened up near the entrance of Whakarewarewa -- a Maori village that draws hordes of tourists to its hot spring lakes, mud pools and geysers.

She was rushed for treatment at Hamilton's Waikato hospital, where she is said to be in a stable condition.

In a statement issued Wednesday, she thanked her rescuers for "getting me out and then pouring water onto my injuries until the emergency services arrived".

It was "quite an ordeal," she said, without providing her name and asking for privacy.

A second person was involved in the incident and treated for moderate injuries, but not admitted to hospital.

The Whakarewarewa Valley complex is one of the top tourist sites in Rotorua, which attracts around three million visitors per year.

Rotorua Lakes Council said the sinkhole had been filled in and last Thursday's incident is being investigated.