At least eight rescue workers died and 10 tourists were injured after a volcano erupted on Indonesia’s main Java Island.
The Sileri Crater at Dieng Plateau spewed cold lava and ash above 160 feet in the sky. It erupted without any warning signals near 11:30 a.m. local time.
Dieng Plateau, located in the Central Java province district of Banjarnegara, us very popular among tourists because of its scenic, cool climate and 9th-century Hindu temples. The volcano is 6,600 ft. above sea level and attracts photographers hoping to capture the beautiful surrounding landscape.
However, the volcano is known to be the most active and most dangerous one among the other 10 volcanoes located at the Dieng Plateau.
When the volcano suddenly erupted, around 17 visitors were around it. According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, 10 of them were injured and were being treated in a hospital. Soldiers and police officers were dispatched and local residents and visitors were asked to evacuate in case of further eruptions, he said.
An aid chopper sent to the site of the eruption reportedly crashed near Dieng Plateau, after reportedly hitting a cliff on Butak Mountain in the Temanggung district of Central Java province.
“It is a mountainous area, but it is reachable and our team is already on the ground so we are doing our best to find the other passengers,” said a senior official at the social affairs ministry.
Four rescue rescuers and four Navy crew members were reportedly on board when the aircraft crashed.
Later all eight were pronounced dead. Maj. Gen. Heronimus Guru, deputy operations chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, told The Associated Press, the victims' bodies were taken to the Bhayangkara Hospital in Semarang, the Central Java provincial capital.
Sileri erupted earlier in 2009, sending volcanic materials 656 ft. high into the sky and resulting in the creation of three new caters. When it erupted in 1979, approximately 142 people were reportedly asphyxiated from toxic gases.
People shared dramatic images and videos of the latest disaster.
Radius 100m dari Kawah Sileri dipasang police line dan ditutup untuk wisata. 300 petugas dikerahkan untuk menangani pasca letusan. pic.twitter.com/9M4Bwf2NcK— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_BNPB) July 2, 2017
Korban treluka 10 org sdh di bw ke pukesmas 2batur.obyek wisata di tutup.pvmbg, bpbd dan bagana serta aparat di lap. pic.twitter.com/fGe1BEq2xA— Sarwa Pramana (@sarwapramana) July 2, 2017
The helicopter was on its way to rescue locals injured by the erupting Sileri Crater in Java, Indonesia https://t.co/XkoA0RRuuU— Therkut (@therkut1) July 3, 2017
A rescue helicopter crashed and eight people died after Sileri Crater started erupting in Java Island, Indonesia. https://t.co/9oGVrY7iMK— Jason Gastrich (@jasonagastrich) July 3, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters