Two die, 21 hurt in highway crashes


Two people died Saturday in a seven-vehicle pileup on a highway in Osaka, while nine people, most of them children, were hurt in another collision in Okayama Prefecture, police and firefighters said.

In the first accident, which occurred around 9 a.m. on the Wakayama-bound side of the Kinki Expressway in Osaka, a large truck slammed into a passenger car that had come to a stop in backed-up traffic. A woman and a man in the car were killed, while a child was seriously injured.

The accident caused a pileup, involving five more vehicles, in which 13 other people sustained injuries.

An accident about 50 minutes later on the Fukuoka-bound side of the Sanyo Expressway in Wake, Okayama Prefecture, caused injuries to nine people when a truck crashed into a van that had stopped on the expressway’s shoulder.

Authorities said six of the nine injured were children aged between 4 and 7. None were seriously hurt and the truck driver was uninjured, the police said.

Investigations were under way into the causes of the accidents.