Searchers find 4 more victims on Japanese volcano

AP, October 4, 2014

TOKYO (AP) — Rescuers on Saturday retrieved four more bodies near the summit of a Japanese volcano that erupted last weekend, raising the death toll to 51, authorities said.

More than 900 rescue workers resumed searching the slopes after rain had halted their activity the previous day, Nagano prefecture said in a statement.

The four bodies were near the ash-covered summit area of 3,067-meter (about 10,000-foot) Mount Ontake in central Japan.

Many hikers had been resting or having lunch in the summit area when the surprise eruption threw out large rocks, ash and fumes a week ago.

It was not immediately known if the four were among the 16 people that authorities said are believed still missing.

Most of those who died and many of the nearly 70 injured were hit by boulders or rocks that flew out of the crater.

Caption: Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel and other rescuers
arrive to conduct search operations at the ash-covered Ontake Shrine
near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan, Saturday, Oct. 4,
2014. Rescuers on Saturday retrieved four more bodies near the summit of
the Japanese volcano that erupted last weekend, raising the death toll
to 51, authorities said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

In this Satuday, Sept. 27, 2014 photo found in a camera possessed by 59-year-old hiker Izumi Noguchi who fell victim to the eruption of Mount Ontake, and was offered to Kyodo News by his wife, Hiromi, Friday, Oct. 3, Noguchi poses on the summit of Mount Ontake shortly before the eruption of the volcanic mountain in central Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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