• Kyodo


A fourth firefighter has died from injuries sustained nearly three weeks ago when 13 firefighters were caught in the collapse of a burning house in Kobe, Hyogo Prefectural Police said Sunday.

Toshinobu Tanaka, 35, was pronounced dead at 10:28 a.m. Sunday at a hospital in Kobe’s Chuo Ward, police said.

Tanaka had been unconscious and in serious condition due to chest compression and heavy blows to his body after the house in Nishi Ward collapsed shortly after he and the dozen other firefighters entered it to try to rescue someone inside on June 2.

The second floor of the two-story wooden building gave way and fell on the firefighters, who had entered the first floor in a rescue attempt after spotting a body inside, according to police.

The body of a male resident of the house, Koshi Joren, a 51-year-old employee of a local junior high school, was later found in the rubble.

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