Villagers run on ash during the eruption of Mount Sinabung.
The death toll from a volcanic eruption on Indonesia's
Sumatra island has risen to at least 15, as a search continues
for dozens believed missing, officials say.
A 24-year-old man badly burned when Mount Sinabung spewed
searing rocks and gas on Saturday died in hospital, while two
other victims were being treated for serious injuries, said
Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster
Fourteen bodies were found hours after Saturday's eruption.
"There are reports that some more bodies have been found but
we don't know how many," Nugroho said.
Mount Sinabung, which has been rumbling since September,
erupted again on Saturday after a few days of lull when some
residents began returning to their homes nearby.
The disaster agency said pyroclastic flows from the latest
eruption traveled down the volcano's slopes, destroying
everything on their path.
Earlier on Sunday, an aid worker said at least 50 people were
"We lost contact with 50 residents," said Benny Kaban, a
local Protestant minister and aid worker. "They usually
returned to their shelters at 6 in the evening."
Most of the 15 victims died in a village less near the peak
of Mount Sinabung, officials said.
Local media reported that seven of those killed were students
of a Christian university in Medan, the capital of North
Sumatra province, who were volunteering to help displaced
More than 30,000 people have sought refuge in government
buildings, churches, schools and mosques since the latest
round of eruptions began four months ago.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Sunday expressed
condolences for the deaths and urged residents to be patient.