• Kyodo


A large sightseeing bus caught fire on the Tomei Expressway shortly after noon Tuesday, but all 38 people on board managed to escape, highway patrol officials said.

According to highway police, black smoke began billowing out from the left rear side of the bus, forcing it to stop. Everyone on board left the vehicle, after which the fire broke out. Investigators were looking into the cause of the fire, which was extinguished after about 30 minutes.

At the time the fire broke out, 36 passengers and two drivers were aboard the bus. They had left Nagoya earlier in the day bound for Gotemba Premium Outlets, a shopping mall complex in the city of Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture.

According to organizers of the trip, the passengers were taking part in a one-day shopping tour.

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