• Kyodo

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Six people were killed and four others were injured early Sunday when their van crashed into a truck that had stopped 15 minutes earlier after having an accident of its own, police said.

The van, carrying 10 people, struck the truck in the Tomei Expressway in Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture, at about 4:40 a.m., killing three women and three men.

The truck, driven by Takatoshi Tabata, 27, of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, had hit the center dividing strip and came to a stop sideways, blocking almost two lanes, police said.

The van was registered in Sodegaura, Chiba Prefecture, and the passengers were contract workers for a Tokyo-based company selling household and interior goods, police said.

Those killed were identified as Hiroshi Takano, 26; Misato Kakinuma, 25; Tamami Kuroiwa, 23; Kazuaki Ikeda, 22; and Jun Harikae, 26; and Chieko Murayama, 25. All except Murayama were from Ibaraki Prefecture.

The other passengers said the van was being driven by Takano, and that they were heading to Osaka for a sales training session, according to police.

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