5 Climbers Perish on Philippine Volcano

Sudden eruption took mountaineers by surprise

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 6, 2013 11:46 PM CDT | Updated May 7, 2013 5:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – One of the Philippines' most active volcanoes spewed huge rocks and ash after daybreak today, killing at least five climbers and trapping more than a dozen others near the crater in its first eruption in three years, officials said. Rescue teams and helicopters were sent to Mayon volcano in the central Philippines to bring out the dead. At least seven were injured from a group of about 20 mountaineers who were caught by surprise by the sudden eruption, officials say.

A guide speaking from a camp near the crater says the climbers, including a German, an Austrian, and a Filipino, were killed by huge rocks. The guide says he was in the group that spent the night on the picturesque mountain, known for its almost-perfect cone, when the volcano rumbled back to life early in the morning and rocks "as big as a living room" came raining down on them. He rushed back to the base camp to call for help.

The Mayon volcano before the latest eruption.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez,FILE)
A cloud of volcanic ash shoots up to the sky as Mayon, one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes, erupts after daybreak today.   (AP Photo/Allan Imperial)
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