Sep 29, 2014 12:53 PM by News Staff
KISO, Japan (AP) - Five more bodies have been found near the summit of a Japanese volcano, bringing the total presumed dead to 36. But toxic gases and ash from the still-erupting mountain have forced rescue workers today to halt efforts to recover the victims.
Police say eight bodies were airlifted today off Mount Ontake before work on the peak was called off. Together with four victims brought down on Sunday, 12 bodies have now been recovered. That leaves 24 near the summit.
Exactly how they died remains unclear, whether from gases, suffocating ash, falling rocks or other causes.
Police say the latest victims were found near a shrine at the summit, the same area where other victims were reportedly found.
Mt. Ontake, a popular climbing destination, erupted Saturday, as at least 250 people were going for a hike.
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