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OSAKA — Two high school students were killed and seven other people injured early Sunday after a van they were riding crashed into a lane divider in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, police said.

Police identified the two students as Keiko Wada, 15, and Nozomi Ikehata, 16. The driver of the car, Toshikazu Goto, 21, escaped with slight injuries. Of the other passengers, a 16-year-old boy was seriously injured while two other boys and three girls aged between 14 and 17 suffered slight injuries, police said.

The accident occurred when the van attempted to make a U-turn in an intersection at around 4:10 a.m., police said. Police said they believe that Goto was driving too fast to make the U-turn and that the seven-seat vehicle was overloaded. U-turns are prohibited between midnight and 5:00 a.m. at the intersection.

Police said they will question Goto after he recovers.

The nine friends are all residents of Sakai and were on their way to downtown Osaka. After hitting the divider, the van flipped on its side and came to rest on a walkway about 30 meters away, police said.

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