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American couple describe moment New Zealand volcano erupted in trailer for new Netflix documentary

American couple describe moment New Zealand volcano erupted in trailer for new Netflix documentary

An American couple who were badly burned when a New Zealand volcano erupted on their honeymoon have said they thought they were “going to die” in a new Netflix documentary.

In a trailer for The Volcano, a minute-by-minute retelling of survivor stories, couple Matthew and Lauren Urey of Richmond, Va., describe the moment they thought it was all over.

“I thought, ‘This is it. We’re going to die on our honeymoon,” Matthew recalls holding his wife’s hand. A close-up shows the damage to their hands from the “unbearable” heat.

Matthew suffered burns to 80% of his body, while Lauren had burns to 25% of hers, who said she felt her body was “sizzling”, in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com in 2020.

When the couple decided to hike the volcano, they were told it would be a “nice and easy hike”.

“They didn’t make it look dangerous,” Matthew said in the documentary, which is executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.

When the volcano erupted, there were 47 people on the island, including nine Americans. Only 26 would survive the explosion.

All of those who survived the tragedy were burned – some over 90% of their bodies.

The couple think it’s a miracle that they survived the explosion.

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American couple Matt and Lauren Urey were on their honeymoon in New Zealand when the killer eruption occurred off Whakatane on November 9 last year.

Matthew suffered burns to 80% of his body, while Lauren had burns to 25% of hers.

Matthew suffered burns to 80% of his body, while Lauren had burns to 25% of hers.

When the couple decided to hike the volcano, they were told it would be a

When the couple decided to hike the volcano, they were told it would be a

When the couple decided to hike the volcano, they were told it would be a “nice and easy hike”. “They didn’t make it look dangerous,” Matthew said in the documentary, whose executive producer is Leonardo DiCaprio.

'I thought: "That's it.  We'll die on our honeymoon,"

“I thought, ‘This is it. We’re going to die on our honeymoon,” Matthew recalls holding his wife’s hand

Authorities deemed the island too dangerous for rescue operations, leaving the survivors alone.

“At this point it is too dangerous for the island’s police and rescue services,” an official said at the time. However, the 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 here” as they were “always looking for more survivors”.

Rescuers found 39 people on the island, but not all of them survived their injuries.

The couple suffered severe burns from the blast, they spent six months recovering

The couple suffered severe burns from the blast, they spent six months recovering

Matthew's legs were incredibly burned in the eruption as he was wearing shorts

Matthew’s legs were incredibly burned in the eruption as he was wearing shorts

Their hands also suffered multiple burns, with badly scarred skin still present a year after the event (pictured)

Their hands also suffered multiple burns, with badly scarred skin still present a year after the event (pictured)

Their hands also suffered multiple burns, with badly scarred skin still present a year after the event (pictured)

The couple have undergone numerous surgeries to help minimize the scarring

The couple have undergone numerous surgeries to help minimize the scarring

The newlyweds were with a group of people exploring the island on December 9, 2019, when they saw ash silently proliferating from the center of the volcano. Within seconds, the couple began to flee for their lives.

They sought refuge behind a rock near the water but the dark cloud of volcanic gas quickly enveloped the island.

As the ashes and debris rained down, Lauren grabbed her husband’s hand and told him she loved him.

“I thought there were 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, sizzling. You could feel rocks falling on your hard hat,” he told 9news at the time.

“If I grabbed something, my hand would slip because my skin was peeling off.”

The couple were among the few to make it to the island’s pier, but Lauren had lost her respirator and was inhaling the noxious gas.

Other survivors could be heard screaming for help from a nearby tour boat as their blistered skin peeled away from their bodies.

The group were rescued by the boat, which had turned around to help despite the danger, but the victims had to endure a 90-minute journey to shore.

“It was torture,” Lauren said.

The volcano erupted on December 9 with 47 people on the island

The volcano erupted on December 9 with 47 people on the island

Tourists saw a silent cloud of ash mushrooms above the volcano before being stranded and authorities said it was too dangerous for rescuers to come.  Rescuers went alone and saved more than 30 people

Tourists saw a silent cloud of ash mushrooms above the volcano before being stranded and authorities said it was too dangerous for rescuers to come. Rescuers went alone and saved more than 30 people

“I was absolutely convinced it was the end for both of us. I don’t know how we survived,’ Matthew.

The couple spent almost two months recovering from their injuries in separate hospitals.

They returned to the United States at the end of January and were treated in hospital until their release in mid-February.

Matthew and Lauren had to wear compression garments for several months to help with healing and underwent several other surgeries.

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