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Schoolchildren among 14 killed by Indonesia volcano eruption

Published on Feb 2, 2014 6:47 AM
A woman flees as Mount Sinabung erupts near Bekerah village, in Karo district, North Sumatra, on Feb 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KARO, Indonesia (AFP) - Fourteen people, including four schoolchildren, were killed on Saturday, Feb 1, 2014, after they were engulfed in scorching ash clouds spat out by Indonesia's Mount Sinabung in its biggest eruption in recent days, officials said.

Dark, searing clouds rolling down the mountain left apocalyptic scenes of ash-covered bodies scattered by a roadside in Sukameriah village, just 2.7km from the volcano's crater, an AFP witness who helped with the evacuation said.

Officials fear there could be more fatalities from Saturday's eruptions, but due to the high potential of lethal heat clouds spewing from the mountain, a search and rescue mission has been grounded, officials said.

"We suspect there are more victims but we cannot recover them because the victims are in the path of the hot (ash) clouds," said Mr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

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