• Kyodo

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Three people were killed and 40 others were injured in a pileup during a snowstorm Wednesday on a highway in Fukagawa, Hokkaido, firefighters said.

The crash involved more than 30 cars and buses.

A male driver was among those killed in the pileup, which occurred at about 10:20 a.m. on the Hokkaido Jukan Highway, firefighters and police said.

Some 100 people involved in the accident were transported to a public hall and the injured, including three serious cases, were treated at hospitals in Fukagawa and neighboring Takikawa.

The accident occurred on a straight stretch of the four-lane highway. Visibility was low due to the snow and the vehicles ran into one another in a chain collision.

“A passenger screamed, and the next moment I felt the shock from the collision,” said a 38-year-old female tourist from Osaka. “The front window of the bus was broken and there were people injured and covered with blood.”

Police set up a task force to respond to the accident and investigate the causes.

Lanes in both directions where the collision took place were closed off at 10:30 a.m. due to heavy snow.

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