TOKYO: The death toll from a sudden volcanic eruption in Japan hit 47 on Wednesday as rescuers discovered 11 new bodies in so-far unexplored areas of the ash-covered peak.
The figure makes the eruption of Mount Ontake, which was packed with hikers when it burst angrily to life on Saturday lunchtime, the worst volcanic disaster in Japan for almost 90 years.
Up until Sunday 36 bodies had been found, but many of these remained on the ruptured mountain as toxic gas and the risk of further eruptions forced emergency workers to suspend operations.
The region’s police earlier said 12 new bodies were found on Wednesday but they later corrected the figure to 11. “Police mistook the number as they were confused in the process of transporting the bodies,” an official at Nagano prefecture’s crisis management office said.