• Kyodo


Five bodies were discovered early Saturday morning in the wreckage of a burned-out car in a parking lot in the city of Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, police said.

They are investigating the identities of the five and the cause of the fire, although they believe three of the five are children.

Since there are no signs of the car having collided with another vehicle, police are looking into the possibility of a suicide.

After receiving an emergency call from a passerby shortly before 4 a.m., the police and fire department officials rushed to the site, near Lake Biwa. The fire was extinguished some 30 minutes later, they said.

The car was almost entirely burned, and police have found nothing inside that could help identify the occupants.

Although the license plate shows that the owner of the car is a man from Osaka, that man reportedly died several years ago. Police are talking to relatives of the man to see if he had sold or given the vehicle to somebody.

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