smokeTOKYO — A volcano in central Japan erupted in spectacular fashion on Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and injuring at least 11 people, including seven who lost consciousness. With a sound likened to thunder, Mount Ontake erupted shortly before noon on a clear autumn day, spewing large white plumes of ash high into the sky and sending people on the mountainside fleeing. The eruption continued into the night, blanketing the surrounding area in ash. More than 250 people were stuck on the slopes for hours, many taking refuge in mountain lodges that dot the way up. By evening, most had made or were making their way down, though some decided to spend the night. Some with injuries didn’t want to risk coming down the ash-covered paths. As of late afternoon, eleven people had been reported injured, eight seriously, including the seven who lost consciousness, said Nagano prefecture crisis management official Minoru Kashiwabara. There was no update on the status of the injured early Saturday evening. More