Skip to comments.Two men found dead on Indonesian volcano - Mount Merapi
Posted on 06/15/2006 8:38:05 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia - Two men who sought shelter from erupting Mount Merapi in an emergency bunker on the fiery slopes of the volcano were found dead Friday, officials said.
The men fled to the steel shelter on Wednesday while they helped to evacuate a village during a burst of volcanic activity. The bunker was later covered with up to 6 feet of red-hot debris.
Soldiers in fire-retardant clothing reached the men after digging through the debris with shovel and backhoes, said Widi Sutikno, head of volcano relief operations.
"The bodies were burned because of the hot temperatures in the bunker," Sutikno said.
It was unclear whether the bunker, one or several which dot Merapi's slopes, was designed to shield people from extreme heat and malfunctioned, or was built only to protect those inside from light showers of volcanic debris.
Scientists had thought that the 9,700-foot Merapi was calming down after weeks of activity, but violent eruptions Wednesday led to the re-evacuation of thousands of villagers and the government again put the peak on its highest alert level.
"It was the most terrifying cloud I have ever seen in my life," villager Basirun said of Wednesday's activity.
Ash covered one village 4 1/2 miles west of the crater with a gray blanket an inch thick, and soot rained down after dusk across many districts, officials said.
Merapi continued to spew out scorching gas clouds and rock fragments early Friday, said Triyani of the volcanology office.
Scientist Antonius Ratdomopurbo said the resurgence in activity was likely caused by the collapse of a section of volcano's lava dome, which has been growing in recent weeks as lava emerges from its core.
Merapi is one of more than 70 active volcanoes in Indonesia.
The main dangers at Merapi are fast-moving bursts of blistering gases and rock fragments called pyroclastic flow. Experts say a massive vertical eruption threatening people many miles away will not occur.
One killed more than 60 villagers in 1994, and about 1,300 people died when Merapi erupted in 1930.
Indonesian soldiers and rescuers uses a power shovel to dig through volcanic debris to reach two people trapped in an underground emergency shelter by the Mount Merapi eruption in Bebeng village outside Yogyakarta, Thursday, June 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
Smoke rises from the Mount Merapi volcano, near the ancient Indonesian city of Yogyakarta June 15, 2006. REUTERS/Dwi Oblo (INDONESIA)
As soon as I heard about this I knew they would have been cooked alive! Rest their souls!
Back home we had a name for a buried steel box surrounded by heat: pit BBQ.
A tragic way to die. Prayers for them and their families.
That has gotta suck......
They found them with 1,500 2-liter bottles of diet coke and 84 cases of Mentos. Strange.
US relief supplies from the previous Tsunami effort?
The bodies of two men trapped in an emergency bunker at Indonesia's rumbling Mount Merapi volcano have been found after they were effectively baked to death.(AFP/Tarko Sudiarno)
An Indonesian search and rescue crew looks into the opening of a volcano bunker covered by more than 2 meters (yards) of volcanic debris after Thursday's eruption of Mount Merapi Friday June 16, 2006 in Bebeng village, outside Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Two men who sought shelter from erupting Mount Merapi in an emergency bunker on its fiery slopes were found burned to death on Friday, one immersed in a bathtub where he had tried to escape the heat, an official said. (AP Photo/Susetyo Nugroho)