• Kyodo


A tour bus and a passenger car collided Saturday morning in central Japan, killing the two people in the car and injuring 28 of the 29 people aboard the bus, police said.

The accident occurred around 7:45 a.m. on the Chubu Jukan Expressway. The car span into the bus after hitting the sidewall of a tunnel at a sharp bend near the town of Shirotori, Gifu Prefecture, the police said.

The brakes of the bus failed and the vehicle traveled about 1 km down the incline inside the tunnel out of control before crashing into a 1.2-meter-high sidewall just outside the mouth of the tunnel, they said.

The police identified the occupants of the car as Hiroyasu Kimura, of Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward, and Seiichi Masuda, of Soka, Saitama Prefecture, both aged 38.

The bus driver, Mitsuo Akagane, 59, suffered broken bones in his lower back. Two other people were seriously injured.

The bus was on its way to the hot spring resort of Kusatsu, in Gunma Prefecture, taking a group of people from the city of Ono in Fukui Prefecture for an overnight trip, according to the police.

Kimura and Masuda worked at a construction machinery firm and were headed to Fukui Prefecture to take photographs of a railway, the police added.

The expressway was closed between the Shirotori and Aburazaka interchanges for 4 1/2 hours as a result of the accident.

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