An American couple who were severely burned when a New Zealand volcano erupted while they were on their honeymoon have said in a new Netflix documentary that they thought they were going to “die”.
In a trailer for The Volcano, a up-to-the-minute survivor account, husband and wife Matthew and Lauren Urey of Richmond, Virginia describe the moment they thought it was all over.
“I thought, ‘This is it. We’re going to die on our honeymoon,’” Matthew recalled as he held his wife’s hand. A close-up shows the damage to her hands from the “unbearable” heat.
Matthew suffered burns on 80 percent of his body, while Lauren had burns on 25 percent of her body, who said she felt her body was “burning” in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com in 2020.
When the couple decided to climb the volcano, they were told it would be a “nice, easy hike.”
“They didn’t make it sound dangerous,” Matthew said in the documentary, which Leonardo DiCaprio is executive producing.
When the volcano erupted, there were 47 people on the island, including nine Americans. Only 26 would survive the blast.
All of the survivors of the tragedy suffered burns – some on 90 percent of their bodies.
The couple believe it was a miracle they survived the blast.
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American couple Matt and Lauren Urey were honeymooning in New Zealand when the deadly eruption struck off the coast of Whakatane on November 9 last year
Matthew suffered burns on 80 percent of his body, while Lauren had burns on 25 percent of her body.
When the couple decided to climb the volcano, they were told it would be a “nice, easy hike.” “They didn’t make it sound dangerous,” Matthew said in the documentary, which Leonardo DiCaprio is executive producing
“I thought, ‘This is it. We’re going to die on our honeymoon,’” Matthew recalled as he held his wife’s hand
Authorities deemed the island too dangerous for rescue operations and left the survivors to fend for themselves.
“At this stage, it is too dangerous for police and emergency services to come to the island,” an official said at the time. However, rescuers went anyway.
“Doing nothing was not an option,” one of the unnamed rescuers said in the trailer. “We would do it ourselves.”
Another rescuer recalled telling authorities they “need more help out here” as they “keep finding more survivors.”
Rescuers would find 39 people on the island, although not all survived their injuries.
The couple suffered severe burns from the blast and it took them six months to recover
Matthew’s legs were incredibly burned during the outbreak as he was wearing shorts
Her hands sustained multiple burns, with severely scarred skin that is still present a year after the event (pictured).
The couple had to endure many surgeries to minimize scarring
The newlyweds were with a group of people exploring the island on December 9, 2019 when they saw ash silently erupting from the center of the volcano. Within seconds, the couple began fleeing for their lives.
They took cover behind a rock near the water, but the dark cloud of volcanic gas quickly enveloped the island.
As ash and debris rained down, Lauren grabbed her husband’s hand and told him she loved him.
“I thought it was only seconds before I died,” Lauren told TVNZ in 2020.
“It was the darkest, most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my life. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face,’ Matthew said.
“You could just feel your skin burning and sizzling. You could feel rocks hitting your hard hat,” he told 9news at the time.
“When I grabbed something, my hand just slipped off because my skin peeled off.”
The couple were among the few who made it to the island’s jetty, but Lauren had lost her respirator and was inhaling the toxic gas.
Other survivors could be heard screaming for help from a nearby tour boat as their blistered skin detached from their bodies.
The group was rescued by the boat, which returned to help despite the danger, but the victims endured a 90-minute drive to shore.
“It was torture,” Lauren said.
The volcano erupted on December 9 with 47 people on the island
Tourists saw a silent cloud of ash fungus over the volcano before they got stuck, and authorities said it was too dangerous for rescuers to come. Rescuers went alone and saved more than 30 people
“I was absolutely convinced that this was the end for both of us. I don’t know how we ever survived,” Matthew.
The couple spent nearly two months recovering from their injuries in separate hospitals.
They returned to the United States in late January and were hospitalized until their release in mid-February.
Matthew and Lauren had to wear compression garments for several months to aid healing and endured several more surgeries.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11482993/American-couple-moment-New-Zealand-volcano-erupted-trailer-new-Netflix-documentary.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 American couple describe the eruption of the New Zealand volcano in the trailer for the new Netflix documentary