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Searchers find two more bodies in Japan volcano ash

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Rescue workers have found two more bodies under the ash from a volcanic eruption in central Japan’s Mount Ontake.

A crisis management official in Nagano prefecture said on Tuesday one of the bodies was airlifted by a military helicopter, but there were no details available about the recovery of the second body.

The bodies were found in a wide search operation involving 1,000 police, troops, and firefighters.

It is still unknown whether these are two of the 12 hikers who were unaccounted for after the eruption.

The search for the missing had been called off for two days due to bad weather conditions.

Aerial pictures show the strenuous rescue efforts, in which forces struggle to walk through the ash mixed with water, going on.

At least 250 people were reportedly on the 3,067-meter Mount Ontake enjoying a fall season hiking venture when the volcano erupted on September 27. The eruption is reported to have claimed over 50 lives.

Autopsies show the victims died largely from injuries caused by stones thrown out in the initial eruption.

The last major eruption of Mount Ontake took place in 1979, during which it spewed over 200,000 tons of ash. The volcano also had a moderate eruption in March 2007.

The eruption of Ontake is the worst Japan has witnessed in almost 90 years, surpassing the deadly eruption of Mount Unzen in southern Japan which claimed the lives of 43 people in 1991.

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