Car plunges 10 meters from Imperial Hotel parking garage; three injured

by Minoru Matsutani

Staff Writer

A car plunged about 10 meters Sunday night from the fourth floor of the 10-story parking lot of the Imperial Hotel in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, and all three occupants were injured, a hotel spokesman said.

Police received a call around 9:55 p.m. Sunday from a witness. The car, being driven by a woman in her 60s, was coming down from the fifth floor and was supposed to follow a curve to the right but instead went straight and crashed through a 70-cm-tall steel gate atop a 50-cm-high concrete retaining wall and plunged to the ground, ending up in a vertical position, the police said.

Akitaka Minakata, spokesman for the prestigious hotel, said Monday, “We comply with laws and regulations as to how strong (the wall and the gate) have to be,” indicating there were no flaws regarding the barriers.

The driver sustained a major injury, and another woman in her 30s and a 4-month-old boy who were also in the car had minor injuries. All were immediately taken to a hospital.

No one was walking below when the car fell onto the hotel’s grounds, Minakata said, adding the vehicle crashed into the roof of a pedestrian walkway connecting the parking lot with the hotel. The front of the car was on the ground and the rear of the vehicle protruded from the roof, he said.