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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK
Two bodies found on Mount Merapi
Digger attempting to remove rubble over bunker
The fierce heat has melted shovels and the tyres of vehicles

Rescuers have discovered the bodies of two men who became trapped by volcanic debris on Indonesia's Mount Merapi on Wednesday night.

The men are thought to have died from burns caused by the intense heat of the volcano's recent eruptions.

They had sought refuge in a bunker to escape a burning cloud emitted by the simmering volcano.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area since Mount Merapi began spewing lava and ash a few weeks ago.

High temperatures

"We found the bodies were burned because of the hot temperatures in the bunker," Widi Sutikno, head of volcano relief operations told the Associated Press.

Rescuer working near Mt Merapi
Authorities fear there could be further eruptions
On Thursday, rescuers were forced to stop work as the heat melted shovels and the tyres of diggers trying to get through two metres of rubble.

Mt Merapi, in the centre of the island of Java, spewed out clouds of gas and ash on Wednesday after weeks of intermittent activity.

Wednesday's explosion has caused scientists to repeat warnings that the volcano, which killed more than 1,300 people during an eruption in 1930, may erupt imminently.


SEE ALSO
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08 Jun 06 |  In Pictures
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17 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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18 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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18 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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13 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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04 May 06 |  Science/Nature

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