GIFU – A junior high school student was killed Wednesday and five others were injured when they were caught in a rockslide on a forest road in Itadori, Gifu Prefecture, police said.
Mamoru Tanaka, 13, died from head injuries. Yusuke Osaki, Masahiro Ishikawa, Daichi Ishihara, Koichiro Ban and Kazuya Miyagawa, all second-year students at Seibu Junior High School in Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, were injured by falling rocks at about 10:35 a.m., police said.
It is thought the rockslide occurred as the boys walked down an unpaved road by a stream. Police said it had been raining lightly around the accident site at the time of the accident and that there had been some rainfall on Tuesday evening.
Some 30 rocks, each about 30-cm wide, fell from around 15 meters up the mountainside and scattered on the 4-meter-wide road, according to the village office.
The boys were part of a group of 280 students on a three-day camping trip to the village, the Kasugai Municipal Board of Education said.
The village office said 106 of the 280 students were hiking with several teachers at the time of the rockslide. The other students were indoors.
The school held a gathering for parents of the students Wednesday evening to explain the accident.
Some parents criticized the school for not cancelling the hike due to rain.
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