U.S. Volcano Expert’s Body Found in Japan
Investigators Thursday identified the charred remains of an American researcher and two French volcano experts recovered from a Japanese mountain that erupted in an avalanche of hot rocks and ash.
Troops recovered one additional body Thursday, bringing to 27 the number found since 4,452-foot Mt. Unzen erupted Monday. Another six people have died in hospitals of burns. At least five people are missing.
The mountain was relatively quiet Thursday, although 43 minor tremors occurred, including one accompanied by a minor burst of flames and gas, the Unzen volcanic observation post reported.
The three foreign volcano experts whose remains were identified Thursday were American Harry Glicken, 33, and French citizens Maurice Krafft, 45, and his wife, Katia, 44. The French couple had been tracking the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes for 25 years.
Glicken, formerly of UC Santa Barbara, narrowly escaped death in the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption in Washington state. He was identified by colleagues from the Tokyo Metropolitan University where he was doing research. His parents live in Los Angeles.
Rescuers said the French couple’s remains were found closest to the crater’s rim of all the bodies recovered so far. But they did not say how close the two were.
Maurice Krafft, who is one of France’s leading volcanologists, once said that when he died, “I want it to be at the edge of a volcano.”
Besides the three experts, 19 other bodies have been identified, some based on blood types and others on dental structure, Shimabara city officials said. Many were burned beyond recognition.
Three nationally circulated newspapers published photographs of the exploding mountain taken from the cameras of photographers killed in the blast.
Authorities warned that the volcano remains dangerously active.
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.