Photos: Guatemala volcano erupts, kills 69; toll expected to risehttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/fire-and-death-guatemala-volcano-consumes-69-lives-toll-expected-to-rise-5204552/

Photos: Guatemala volcano erupts, kills 69; toll expected to rise

Bodies were so thickly coated with ash that they looked like statues, and rescuers were forced to use sledgehammers to break through the roofs of houses buried in debris up to their rooflines to try to see if anyone was trapped inside.

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

People head to cemetery with coffins of those who died during the eruption of the Volcan de Fuego, which in Spanish means Volcano of Fire, in San Juan Alotenango, Guatemala, Monday, June 4, 2018. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

A fiery volcanic eruption in south-central Guatemala sent lava flowing into rural communities, killing dozens as rescuers struggled to reach people where homes and roads were charred and blanketed with ash. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

A total of 69 bodies have been found with only 17 being identified so far. Identification has become difficult as some of the dead have lost their features and fingerprints. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

Armed soldiers and residents have been advised to wear masks to avoid breathing in ash. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

Rescue operations are underway as many are still believed to be stuck inside the ash smeared houses. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

Residents and workers are carrying bodies away on stretchers as smoke still rises from some parts of the ashen landscape strewn with boulders and other debris. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

Bodies were so thickly coated with ash that they looked like statues and rescuers were forced to use sledgehammers to break through the roofs of houses buried in debris up to their rooflines to try to see if anyone was trapped inside. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

Using shovels and backhoes, emergency workers dug through the debris and mud, perilous labour on smouldering terrain still hot enough to melt shoe soles a day after the volcano exploded. (Source: AP)

Fire and Ashes: Guatemala volcano consumes 69 lives, toll expected to rise

The volcano has registered a number of minor eruptions over the years and no evacuations were ordered as scientific experts reported the activity was decreasing. This incident, however, is the deadliest in years.(Source: AP)