• Kyodo

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A tour bus carrying Japanese vocational school students ran into a ditch and rolled over Saturday in Honolulu, injuring 29 Japanese and two local people, three of them seriously, Hawaiian police said Sunday.

The driver, a local tour guide and a Japanese teacher were seriously injured, according to the Japanese Consulate General in Honolulu.

Minor injuries were sustained by 26 Japanese students, a Japanese teacher, and a Japanese tour guide, the consulate said.

The other nine students from Toyo Hair Designers College in Chiba Prefecture were uninjured.

The accident occurred around 10:30 p.m. Saturday about 4 km north of Honolulu, police said, speculating that the 55-year-old driver may have suffered a heart attack, resulting in the accident.

Most of those on board escaped from the bus through a roof emergency exit and were taken to a hospital.

The bus was one of four carrying 145 people on the hairdressing school trip and returning to hotels in Honolulu after watching a Hawaiian show.

The school plans to continue its tour as scheduled, with everyone, including those injured, slated to return to Japan on Monday, police said.

“I am thankful there were no deaths,” said Kaoru Hagiwara, head of Toyo Hair Designers College, speaking at a hotel in Honolulu.

“The students’ injuries were not as bad as we initially feared,” he said. “We are sorry for causing many people to worry, but we will continue our school trip as scheduled.”

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)