31 Hikers Found Dead On The Mountain After A Volcano Erupted In Japan

KI, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 28: Mt. Ontake spews volcanic ash as a Japan Ground Self-Defence Force’s helicopter rescues hikers on September 28, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images)

Thirty-one people have been found dead after the eruption of Japanese volcano Mt Ontake over the weekend.

The ABC this morning reports that police confirmed they were found “in cardiac arrest” near the summit of the volcano. (The use of the term “cardiac arrest” is part of the process of pronouncing patients dead in Japan prior to formal certification by a doctor.)

The eruption of the volcano, around 200km west of Tokyo, spewed ash into the atmosphere which was graphically caught on video by one of the 250 hikers stranded on the mountain on Saturday.

“The volcanic rocks fell like hailstones,” one man said.

There are 45 people still unaccounted for, but it’s unclear if the 31 dead are included in that tally.

While most of those stranded managed to walk down the mountain, NHK television reported that about 40 spent the night close to the summit in the basement of buildings.

Japnese rescuers have been working across the weekend to airlift hikers out but the search is currently suspended due to atmospheric toxicity.

The ABC reports that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was not currently aware of any Australians being involved in the incident.

You can read more here.

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