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Rescuers Find Over 30 Bodies Near Peak of Erupting Japanese Volcano

The victims have been described as not breathing and their hearts not beating.

Plumes of smoke and ash billow from Mount Ontake as it continues to erupt in central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. An estimated 40 people were stranded at mountain lodges overnight, many injured and unable or unwilling to risk descending 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mount Ontake on their own. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

TOKYO (TheBlaze/AP) — Rescuers have found more than 30 unconscious bodies believed to be dead near the peak of an erupting volcano, a Japanese police official said.

The victims have been described as not breathing and their hearts not beating, which is the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it.

Plumes of smoke and ash billow from Mount Ontake as it continues to erupt in central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. An estimated 40 people were stranded at mountain lodges overnight, many injured and unable or unwilling to risk descending 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mount Ontake on their own. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT  Plumes of smoke and ash billow from Mount Ontake as it continues to erupt in central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. It erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. An estimated 40 people were stranded at mountain lodges overnight, many injured and unable or unwilling to risk descending 10,062 feet on their own. (Image source: AP/Kyodo News) 

The official from Nagano prefecture police said details of where the bodies were found Sunday, as well as their identities, were not immediately known.

Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. About 250 people were initially trapped on the slopes, but most made their way down by Saturday night.

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