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Japanese hikers scramble for cover as volcano erupts

Japan Volcano

(NY Post) TOKYO — A volcano in central Japan erupted in spectacular fashion on Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and stranding at least 40 injured people in areas that rescue workers have been unable to reach. Another seven people were missing.

The injured, unable to descend 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mount Ontake on their own, are staying in mountain lodges, said Sohei Hanamura, a crisis management official in Nagano prefecture. Thirty-two people had serious injuries, including at least seven who lost consciousness.

Police, fire and military rescue workers were planning to try to reach the area on foot after daybreak Sunday, after deciding that the ash in the air made it too dangerous to use helicopters.

Hanamura said seven people were reported missing on the mountain.

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