Dense fumes are spewed out from several spots on the slope of Mt. Ontake as the volcano erupts in central Japan Saturday. Pic: AP.

Dense fumes are spewed out from several spots on the slope of Mt. Ontake as the volcano erupts in central Japan Saturday. Pic: AP.

OTAKI, Japan (AP) — A dozen more bodies have been found near the ash-covered summit of a Japanese volcano as searches resumed amid concern of toxic gasses and another eruption.

Nagano prefectural police say the death toll from last Saturday’s surprise eruption at Mount Ontake stands at 48 after Wednesday’s additions.

Prefectural and police officials said most bodies were found around the summit, where many climbers were resting or having lunch.

The Ground Self-Defense Forces helicopters brought more than a dozen bodies to the foot of the mountain Wednesday.

Dozens of relatives and friends of those who are feared missing in the mountain waited for news in a municipal hall in a nearby town of Kiso.