Volcanic eruption kills 1, injures 17 near Japanese ski resort

The eruption triggered a landslide, trapping several skiers.

ByMark Osborne
January 23, 2018, 5:45 AM

— -- The sudden eruption of a volcano near a ski resort in Japan killed one person and injured 17 others on Tuesday.

PHOTO: Thick black smoke moves down the snow-covered side of the volcano towards a ski slope after an eruption, in an image from the Kusatsu Mt. Shirane Gondola Unjo camera, Jan. 23, 2018.
Thick black smoke moves down the snow-covered side of the volcano towards a ski slope after an eruption, in an image from the Kusatsu Mt. Shirane Gondola Unjo camera, Jan. 23, 2018.
Kusatsu Town Office via AFP/Getty Images

The eruption took place on Mount Kusatsu-Shirane in Gunma Prefecture, in central Japan, about 116 miles north of Tokyo.

A soldier with the Japan Defense Force was killed when an avalanche at a nearby ski resort was triggered in the eruption, according to Japanese news outlet NHK.

PHOTO: Japan's Self-Defence Forces members take part in rescue work at a ski resort nearby Kusatsu-Shirane volcano in Kusatsu northwest of Tokyo, Jan. 23, 2018.
Japan's Self-Defence Forces members take part in rescue work at a ski resort nearby Kusatsu-Shirane volcano in Kusatsu northwest of Tokyo, Jan. 23, 2018.
Kyodo/Reuters

Video from ski resort shows smoke and chunks of rock flying, though the actual eruption is out of picture.

The army was on a training mission in the area when the avalanche hit. Of the 17 people injured, five were members of the Japanese army, NHK reported.

Nine people at the ski resort were injured, NHK said, including four who were hit by rocks and five who suffered injuries when a gondola was damaged by debris.

PHOTO: A cable car station where skiers were awaiting rescue near a volcano that erupted at the Kusatsu-Shirane mountains are seen from a Kyodo News helicopter in the Gunma Prefecture northwest of Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 23, 2018.
A cable car station where skiers were awaiting rescue near a volcano that erupted at the Kusatsu-Shirane mountains are seen from a Kyodo News helicopter in the Gunma Prefecture northwest of Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 23, 2018.
Kyodo/Reuters

NHK said officials were working to evacuate the 80 people who were visiting the ski resort.

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events