Four scientists photographing volcanic activity from a light plane were injured Sunday along with their pilot when the craft crash-landed.
National Parks spokesman Ross Gilbert said the plane crashed about 200 yards short of an airstrip as it tried to land at the base of the Mount Ruapehu. The plane apparently had engine problems.
About 300 skiers were evacuated from the mountain Saturday after the volcano erupted, sending ash, rocks and steam thousands of feet into the air.
The eruption sent three volcanic mudflows from the mountain’s crater, one of which covered a mountainside hut.
Mount Ruapehu, midway between Auckland and the capital, Wellington, is 9,000 feet high - the loftiest volcanic cone on the North Island of New Zealand.
It is one of three active volcanoes in the Taupo volcanic zone. All three have erupted in this century.
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