TOKYO - The first deaths from the sudden eruption of a volcano in Japan have been confirmed, local media reported Sunday.
The confirmation, reported by national broadcaster NHK, comes after emergency services workers had found more than 30 people in "cardiac arrest" on the peak of Mount Ontake.
The phrase is used by first responders before death can be certified by a doctor.
Rescue workers battling rocketing levels of sulphurous gas found the hikers in "cardiac arrest" near the summit of the 3,067-metre volcano, which erupted around noon on Saturday, police and local officials said.
Local media had put the exact figure at 31.