Japan volcano death toll hits 47

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Published: Wednesday 1st October 2014 by The News Editor

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More bodies have been found near the ash-covered summit of a Japanese volcano as searches resumed amid concern of toxic gas and another eruption.

Nagano police said the death toll from Saturday’s surprise eruption at Mount Ontake now stands at 47.

Local officials said most bodies were found around the summit, where many climbers were resting or having lunch when the eruption happened.

The Ground Self-Defence Forces helicopters carried more than a dozen bodies to the foot of the mountain today.

Scores of relatives and friends of those who are feared missing on the mountain were waiting for news in a municipal hall in the nearby town of Kiso.

Medics who have examined some of the nearly 70 injured told Japanese media many of them had bruises, cuts and bone fractures on the back, an apparent sign they were hit by rocks flying out of the volcano.

Some of them were heavily coated with ash and had to be carefully washed to reach the skin.

The eruption caught hikers by surprise. Seismologists had detected signs of increased seismic activity at Mount Ontake, one of Japan’s 110 active volcanos, but nothing signalled an eruption of that size.

Published: Wednesday 1st October 2014 by The News Editor

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