NAGANO, Japan, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- At least 40 hikers were injured in Japan Saturday when volcano Mount Ontake erupted. The eruption sent a dark plume of smoke into the air, ejecting rubble and covering the surrounding area in a thick layer of white ash. Witnesses reported a thunder-like boom as the volcano exploded.
Japanese news station NHK reports that some hikers remain missing and several have been reported unconscious. Sources suggests fatalities are likely to be reported in the coming hours. Several dozen momentarily took shelter in a trailside hut.